Saturday, January 07, 2012

Home Cooking: Somen Noodles

For a month this summer we hosted a Japanese foreign exchange student, and when it came to meals, my husband and several sons were in food heaven. You see, Mike served a two year mission for our church in Japan, and while he was there he learned to love Japanese food. He cooks it often for our family, and we go to the Japanese restaurant at least a couple times a year for special occasions.

Two of our sons are part Filipino and they have always loved foods from the Orient. Some how the other kids have learned to love it as well. I’m the only one in the house who shudders when we have Japanese, although I have learned to like several Chinese dishes.

For this meal, I had to smile and pretend I loved everything about the meal that our foreign exchange student made for us. It was part of his assignment to prepare a traditional Japanese meal for the American family. Somen noodles are not something I normally eat, but the rest of the family loved it.

Since the exchange student did the cooking, I had to borrow a recipe for this blog from the internet, but it looks very similar to what I observed him do in preparation, so I think it’s likely the same.  

4 bundles of somen noodles
2 ½ cups dashi
½ cup dark shoyu
4 tbsp mirin
Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil. Prepare the noodles (each bundle is one serving), according to the package directions. Somen water is not used, so you can dump out the water into a colander and immediately run the somen under cool running water, tossing until cool. Serve with noodle dipping sauce.
As you can see in the photos, the exchange student made our meal a little more decorative by twisting the cooked noodles around his finger before putting them onto the plate. The dipping sauce was in a cup, so to eat you picked up the entire roll, dipped then popped it into you mouth.

Although there was nothing wrong with the food, I was tired of the flavor by the third roll, but custom and courtesy dictated I had to finish my serving. The boys loved it so much he made the meal a second time. I opted for something else.

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