Japanese Cold Somen Noodles
30 minutes or fewer
Traditionally, somen noodles come to the table topped with ice cubes to keep the strands cold. Dashi, a light broth made with kombu dried seaweed (also used to make miso soup), is served cold in a bowl on the side. The dish is eaten by dunking the noodles in the broth. In this dashi recipe, the traditional bonito (fish) flakes are replaced by dried shiitake mushrooms. The subtle flavor can be punched up with grated wasabi, shredded nori, or thinly sliced shiso leaves.
- ¼ cup sliced dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 4-inch-square piece kombu
- 8 oz. dried somen noodles (thin Japanese white wheat noodles)
- 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 Tbs. mirin
- ¼ tsp. coarse salt
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (¼ cup), for garnish
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger, for garnish
1. Combine 2 cups water, mushrooms, and kombu in large saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-low heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat, and let stand 20 minutes. Strain off solids, and reserve mushrooms and kombu for another use. Place broth in small metal bowl, and set bowl inside larger bowl filled with ice and a little water to cool.
2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Drain again. Divide among serving bowls. Top each serving with ice cubes.
3. Stir soy sauce, mirin, and salt into cooled dashi broth. Divide among four small bowls for dunking noodles. Garnish servings with green onions and ginger.
September 2014 p.30