One of my favorite things to eat in the summer is cold somen. These Japanese noodles are light and refreshing and combining these with shiso, tomato and a bit of sesame oil makes for an easy and tasty meal. But wait… There’s more! We’re adding chicken too. But this is no ordinary chicken… This chicken’ll be cooked in sake with a little salt, which enhances both flavor and texture. Prepare to be amazed!
Somen Noodles （素麺）
Have you heard of somen before?
Ramen and udon, followed by soba seem to have the most attention these days.
Ramen especially! Lots and lots of ramen shops opening or have already opened up across the country.
I don’t know about you, but in LA, I haven’t seen any somen shops!
If I were somen, I’d be a bit jealous.
Here here… Now let’s give somen some attention today.
It’s easy enough to make at home and should be easy to find too! (You can buy somen on Amazon)
If you’ve never had somen…
They’re light and delicious with a very neutral flavor.
You could call it delicate.
In both flavor and texture, like many other Japanese foods and ingredients. At least that’s how I like to describe it.
So delicate and light that any seasoning does well.
Easily turned into the long little flavor vehicles that they are!
The most basic way of eating somen would be with mentsuyu (めんつゆ) or noodle soup base.
Of which, there are many many many different variations.
Here’s a good base mentsuyu recipe for you to try!
Today we’re going to be making a noodle soup base for the somen using dashi, mirin and soy sauce.
To add extra flavor, we’re throwing on sesame oil and some ginger juice.
Yes, ginger juice.
You can leave the ginger meat in if you like, that’s how I do it! 😉
Then it’s more like ginger paste.
Question for you –
Do you like shiso?
I like shiso
I like shiso a lot!!!
In fact, it’s one of my favorite herbs. Additional recipes with shiso here.
If only, it was as easy to find as potted basil is these days.
The live plant that is.
While basil and tomatoes are one of my favorite combinations during the summer, shiso and tomatoes is another!
Shiso is as fragrant, aromatic and flavorful, if not more so than basil.
Want to argue?
No thanks! I could see it either way!
Combining shiso with soy, dashi, mirin, ginger and sesame oil works wonders.
The sauce we’re making here is full of umami and flavor you’ll surely want to remake this again as the weather gets hotter.
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