All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Somen / plain cold somen noodles with dipping sauce

A standard summer dish of cold flour noodles. These thin noodles are a great choice on scorching hot days when you have little appetite -- they cool you down from the inside.


200 g somen noodles
250-300 cc somen dipping sauce (not in photo)

For condiments
1-2 green onions
1 knob ginger
2-3 shiso perilla leaves


Prepare dipping sauce.


Boil somen noodles according to instructions on package.
Boiling time varies by product, and can range from 2 minutes to 5 minutes. Taste a noodle to check for softness. Noodles turn somewhat translucent when done.

Drain, and soak in cold water.
Once noodles cool, rub them between your palms to get rid of any “fuzz”; the surface should be slippery and smooth.
If not serving immediately, keep noodles in cold water.


Thinly slice green onion and shiso, and grate ginger.


Serve noodles with dipping sauce and condiments.

  • An average serving is 100g. Most somen noodles come in bundles; the volume of individual bundles varies by product. Packages usually indicate the number of servings on the front side.
  • Some somen noodles come as rolls of long noodles (shown above). If you use this type, break rolls into two or three before boiling.
  • Other recommended condiments include myoga Japanese ginger buds (thinly sliced), nori seaweed (thinly cut), kinshitamago julienned egg crepe, and toasted white sesame seeds; umeboshi pickled plum can also add a refreshing punch.
  • For the ultimate cooling effect on your eyes as well as tongue, mix noodles with ice cubes when serving. Glass or metal plates and bowls also have strong visual impact. 
  • Just like other summer or hot-climate food, somen tastes best when you are truly feeling the heat. Turn off your air conditioner and open the windows!
  • When somen noodles are eaten hot (usually in hot soup), the dish is called nyumen.

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