Eating Somen, a Japanese Noodle Dish in Summer

somen japan noodle in bamboo

With various forms, various broths as soups, served hot or cold, with various dipping sauces, the Japanese prove that they can do almost anything with noodles.

One of the basic forms of Japanese noodles is somen.

These noodles are made from wheat, and the taste and texture are not much different from udon noodles. However somen is much thinner and is often served cold as a light dish, usually in the summer.

Somen noodles are made not only with flour and water, but also with vegetable oil, and are stretched while they are being formed, which gives a stronger taste sensation, despite their small diameter.

Somen is often served cold, especially in summer, with a dipping sauce called tsuyu, based on bonito flakes which can then be seasoned with ginger or onions for a chilling effect.

One of the coolest ways to eat somen is through nagashi somen, which literally means “flowing noodles”. The noodles are placed on long bamboo sticks that open as fresh and cold water flows.

Diners then pick up the noodles from the stream with chopsticks and dip them in tsuyu or other dipping sauce.