Gomadare Somen with Yuba: A Refreshing Japanese Noodle Dish


Gomadare Somen with Yuba (素麺のごまだれ) is a delightful summer dish that combines the light and delicate taste of somen noodles with a creamy sesame-based sauce, known as gomadare. The addition of yuba (tofu skin), shiitake mushrooms, and crunchy cucumber creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. This dish is perfect for hot days, offering a refreshing and satisfying meal. I remember the first time I had this dish during my travels to Japan, where it was served chilled with a variety of fresh vegetables, leaving me captivated by its simplicity and depth of flavor


Cultural Context

Somen noodles have been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries. These thin wheat noodles are commonly eaten chilled during summer, making them a popular choice at summer festivals and family gatherings. Gomadare, a sesame-flavored dipping sauce, adds a rich and nutty dimension to the noodles. This pairing showcases Japanese cuisine’s emphasis on seasonality, offering a cool and light dish to help combat the summer heat.

Ingredient Spotlight

  • Somen Noodles: Thin, wheat-based noodles known for their delicate texture.
  • Gomadare (Sesame Sauce): A blend of soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and ground sesame seeds, giving it a rich and nutty flavor.
  • Yuba (Tofu Skin): Offers a chewy texture and mild taste, soaking up the flavorful sauce beautifully.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms: Adds umami and a meat-like texture.
  • Japanese Cucumber: Crisp and refreshing, providing a crunchy contrast to the noodles.
  • Health Benefits
  • This dish is rich in plant-based protein from yuba and shiitake mushrooms, offering a nutritious and balanced meal. The sesame seeds in the gomadare are high in healthy fats, while the fresh vegetables contribute vitamins and antioxidants. Overall, it’s a wholesome and light dish that leaves you satisfied.


Cooking Tips

  1. Toast the Sesame Seeds: To enhance their flavor, toast the sesame seeds over low heat before grinding them.
  2. Gomadare Consistency: Gradually thin the sesame seeds with the base mentsuyu sauce to achieve your desired consistency.
  3. Noodles: If serving the noodles cold, chill them quickly in ice water but avoid leaving them too long to prevent sogginess
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Serve this dish with an assortment of fresh vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and blanched okra. Add a splash of lemon juice and garnish with kaiware daikon (radish sprouts) or green onions for a vibrant finish. Pair it with cold Japanese tea or a light, fruity sake for a refreshing experience.


For the Gomadare Sauce:

1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups kombu shiitake dashi (use less for thicker sauces, more for thinner)
¼ cup mirin
6 Tbsp soy sauce
½ cup rice vinegar
3 Tbsp white sugar
1 heaping cup white sesame seeds, freshly toasted and ground
1 ½ tsp red miso paste

For the Noodles:

1 package dried yuba, rehydrated in kombu dashi
1 bundle somen noodles per person (cooked per package directions)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced into long matchsticks
4-5 shiitake mushrooms (used to make the dashi)

For Serving:

Kaiware daikon (radish sprouts), shiso, chopped green onions, freshly toasted and ground sesame seeds, lemon juice


  1. Prepare the Dashi. Make the kombu shiitake dashi and set it aside. Remove the shiitake mushrooms and slice them ¼ inch thick.
  2. Make the Gomadare. Measure about 1 ¼ cup dashi into a saucepan and add the mirin. Cook over medium heat until the alcohol smell evaporates. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
  3. Toast the sesame seeds on low heat until fragrant, then grind them to your desired consistency. Mix the sesame seeds with the base mentsuyu (noodle soup base) in a food processor or blender until combined.
  4. Assemble. On a large plate or bowl, arrange the somen noodles first. Add ½ cup each of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and shiitake mushrooms, and ¼ cup yuba skins. Top with gomadare sauce and kaiware daikon. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice for extra flavor.


  • Add Protein: Incorporate grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for additional protein.
  • Warm or Cold: Serve warm for a cozy meal, or chill the sauce and noodles for a refreshing cold option.
  • Vegetable Choices: Experiment with sautéed zucchini, Japanese mushrooms (enoki, maitake, shimeji), or even blanched okra.


Gomadare Somen with Yuba is a versatile and satisfying dish that invites creativity with its array of serving options. Whether you prefer it warm or chilled, this Japanese favorite is sure to become a staple at your table. Try it out, and don’t forget to leave a comment below with your favorite variations or questions! I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for future posts

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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