For a day that’s as hot as sin and as mucky and sticky as the last few 100 degree days in NYC.. I thought it was completely appropriate to share a bit of love from my hometown peeps in Japan.
Somen noodles are a Japanese noodle, made of flour and cut extremely thin. Somen tastes similar to udon noodles or a light flour based noodle, however somen is usually cooked hot and served cold. On ice. My mother used to make somen with a dashi broth and or a dipping sauce like a ponzu. Top it off with some green onions, katsuobushi and pickled plums and you’ve got the best Japanese meal for the summer.
Here’s a a little on COLD NOODLES! SOMEN TIME!
Garnish: (all optional and up to you/your tastebuds)
For the Noodles:
1- Make soup base by combining the dashi with water, mirin, toasted sesame, lemon and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Finish off with some toasted sesame oil or lemon juice to taste.
2- Immediately cool the base/stock by pouring into a medium-size metal mixing bowl, placing over an ice bath. Cool + refrigerate until ready to use.
3- Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside. Place a few ice cubes in the bowl and water if desired.
4- For plate up , using tongs, place a mound of noodles into individual bowls/plates, add a few ice cubes, the dashi to top and begin to add toppings.
5- Top with your desired toppings: Sliced cabbage, umeboshi, takuan, perilla/shiso, a bit of togarashi and negi (green onions), finally some bonito flakes etc. and enjoy! There are a million different variations and ways to eat, just plate as you would to your desired taste!