Noodles - Somen
You don't see a lot of somen in the States, but it's such an important noodle in Japan. It was a traditional gift among the wealthy (in feudal times) and rem...
You don't see a lot of somen in the States, but it's such an important noodle in Japan. It was a traditional gift among the wealthy (in feudal times) and remains a staple gift for people in Japan. It's a very thin noodle and has a beautiful slippery texture and is to be enjoyed cold and served with dipping sauce. It's a staple of Japanese summers and one of my favorite styles of noodle (along with udon).
Miwa, Nara, is the birthplace of Somen Noodles. Miwa Yamakatsu has been producing Somen there for over 200 years. Their Somen are made from a blend of high quality, soft wheat, arrowroot, and sweet potato flours to achieve a low gluten (8%!) content in the noodles. The noodle's dough is carefully risen at low temperature, and then rolled and folded into 150 layer sheets, before being cut and cold-dried. Normally Miwa-area noodles are pulled using cottonseed oil, but Yamakatsu declines this practice, preferring to avoid the oxidized oil aroma common in other Somen noodles of the area.
(the directions on the pack are in Japanese, so let us guide you if you can’t read them.)
- Bring a big pot of water to boil. It’s important to use a lot of water so that it doesn’t stop boiling when you add the noodles. DON’T salt it.
- Put the noodles in the pot and spread them out so they don’t clump.
- Cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes. When they float to the surface they are done.
- Immediately drain the noodles and dunk them in a bowl of ice water.
- Drain and plate the noodles and serve alongside tsuyu dipping sauce.
17.6 oz (about 4 servings of soba)
From Miwa, Nara, Japan