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


Somen no tonyu tsuketsuyu / soy milk dipping sauce for thin wheat noodles

This mild and rich soy milk-based dipping sauce is quite filling. Pair it with somen or hiyamugi noodles or thin udon noodles accompanied by goodies for a more substantial meal. Among condiments, ginger goes especially well with this dipping sauce, so grate more than usual.

1/2 of recipe:
184 calories; 9.3 g protein; 12.8 g fat; 9.8 g carbohydrate; 7.6 g net carbs; 191 mg sodium (with shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce);  0 mg cholesterol; 2.2 g fiber 

When served with 100 g (dry) somen noodles with 1/2-egg kinshitamago (julienned egg crepe), a small bunch of blanched mizuna, fresh kaiware daikon radish sprouts, 3 grilled spot shrimp and condiments (small knob ginger, 2 purple shiso leaves, 1/2 green onion) per serving:
641 calories; 30.8 g protein; 18.6 g fat; 83.8 g carbohydrate; 78.2 g net carbs; 442 mg sodium; 175 mg cholesterol; 5.6 g fiber 

250 cc additive-free tonyu soy milk (see Notes)
4 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
1 tsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
Tiny amount of rayu chili oil (optional; not in photo)


Grind sesame seeds in suribachi mortar until almost a paste.


Add shiokoji, shoyukoji and some soy milk, and mix well.

Add remainder of soy milk, mix well, and refrigerate until serving.


When ready to serve, mix well again (sesame seeds have likely sunk to the bottom).

Pour in individual bowls or cups, and add some rayu chili oil to taste.


Serve with noodles, goodies and condiments.
First mix some condiments in dipping sauce, then enjoy noodles and goodies by dipping in the sauce.

  • The amount of dipping sauce above may not be enough when noodles are served with more goodies and condiments than those listed above (the top photo shows a partial view). You would end up taking more sodium when having lots of condiments and goodies; take care with the amount of goodies served along with noodles if you are on a reduced-sodium diet.
  • If shiokoji is not available, use a small amount of salt.
  • If shoyukoji is not at hand, use a small amount of soy sauce or simply skip it (shoyukoji or soy sauce is to give some aroma; the saltiness of dipping sauce comes from shiokoji or salt in the recipe above).
  • Relatively thick soy milk that can be turned into tofu works best for this recipe.
  • The soy milk I use is made with soybeans and water only, and the above amount contains 3 mg sodium. Store-bought soy milk in the US usually contains salt and sugar (and flavors, even when labeled as "plain"), and its sodium content averages around 100 mg per 240 cc (the same story for almond milk). I would not recommend it for cooking. Additive-free soy milk probably is available at Asian grocery stores in the US. In Japan, look for soy milk that says seibun muchosei (成分無調整) [lit. ingredients not adjusted], which implies soybeans and water are the only ingredients (tofu grade) and there are no additives such as sweetener and oil. 
  • Dried somen noodles contain a lot of sodium (1400 mg per 100 g of the somen we eat; sodium content varies by brand). However, around 90% is removed during the boiling process.
  • Other recommended goodies for somen noodles include eggplant (grilled, boiled, steamed), squash (grilled), tomatoes (grilled, fresh), cucumbers (fresh, cut in stick shape), lettuce and other salad greens (fresh, blanched), mild-tasting mushrooms (grilled, steamed, sauteed) and chicken (grilled, steamed). Kimchi is a great addition too, but cut back on sodium-loaded ingredients and skip rayu chili oil for the dipping sauce if using kimchi.

No comments: