Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Needed Something Refreshing for Lunch Today - Somen Noodles -


Somen Noodles

Well, I was quite busy for the past couple of days, shooting photos at the dance festival and posting them to another blog of mine. To tell you the truth, on August 10th and 11th, which were the main festival days, I didn’t eat decent supper because I kept moving from one dance venue to another all afternoon and evening, then went straight to work at night. On those two days, my supper was either one pack of takoyaki (octopus balls) or two sticks of hashimaki (Japanese thin vegetable pancakes wrapped around chopsticks). And on the 13th and 14th, I spent all my time in front of my laptop except when I was at work, editing my photos and changing the template of my scribble blog until my brain boiled. To prevent myself from starvation, I made a big pot of Japanese-style curry, and it was my lunch and dinner for those two days!

If you are interested, the photos are here, though I haven't finished the write-up yet. Please do enlarge the close-ups of the female dancers. It took me a while to upload them in that size and with that quality, without making the post crazily heavy, but it was worth the effort, I guess. ;)

Anyway, today I gave my brain and my stomach a break with cool, soothing summer dish for lunch. Somen is really easy to make if you have store-bought somen soup, but this time I used the soup I had made from scratch about five days ago and stored in the fridge. Many Japanese noodle soup recipes tell you to use kombu kelp and bonito flakes to make dashi stock, but I used dried shiitake mushrooms in addition. To me the shiitake mushroom flavor is “the must” for somen noodle soup.

Usually I serve somen noodles in soup, but today I wanted to do it the way they do in those TV commercials, so I served a little thicker soup in another bowl to dip noodles in. But I poured the soup over the noodles at the end, because I figured that it was the best way to enjoy the toppings with the soup. :P



Looks pretty refreshing?


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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obachan,
The somen looked really good!! I had some hiyashi somen in L.A. a couple of weeks ago and it didn't look nearly as good. I'm also jealous that you got to eat takoyaki and japanese curry!!
Kyle

Crazy Gaijin said...

I think you have just made up my mind for me Obachan! I was trying to work out what to do for dinner. I think I will head down to my Yakitori Obachan's shop for dinner. She may have this today. Otherwise, I am sure it will still be good. I might be posting about my version tonight. I found that I didn't have any somen left, and had to use some soba instead. It was pretty good with キムチとかにとねぎときゅうり。But not particularly Japanese. You will see why if I post it!

Lysithea said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for a while now. Loved it! I think it's a really beautiful blog with lovely pictures of food. Makes me really hungry! :) Hope you won't mind if I link to you!

Nerissa said...

Oh gee! I sure wish I was there for a nibble of that somen soup. It looks so refreshing! Is the yellow topping pickled chrysanthemum?

K & S said...

very nice!

obachan said...

Kyle
Thanks for the compliment. But I have to disappoint you about the takoyaki I had. It was the worst ones ever.

cg
What a creative combination! I’ve never tried かに with soba before. Hope you post about it when you have time : )

lysithea
Of course I don’t mind the link. Thank you.

nerissa
I wish you were here to enjoy the somen together, of course, but also to throw some ice in the bowl while I was taking shots of the noodles. The ice melt so quick.
The yellow topping was very thin omelet cut into fine strips. :)

k & s
Thanks!

milgwimper said...

Obachan the somen looks so delicious! I haven't had that since I lived in Japan! Do you have a recipe? *begs politely*

Gustad said...

good thing you put the soup over the noddles in the end. looks like the best way. looks really tasty!! hope you had more shrimp!

Typical swedish said...

Looks great and like a nice treat during warm summer. At first I didn't really appreciate cold nudles but it's an aquired taste now, great!. Like the festival images too, you caught the spririt of it I think!

Pinkity said...

YUM! I would like to have some :p

Beautiful piccies!

obachan said...

milgwimper
I’m working on my own somen tsuyu recipe... slowly. I’ll post about it when ready. This version was a little too sweet, so that needs a little adjustment.

gustad
More shrimp? Yeah, sounds good. :)

typical swedish
I remember that my English friends also did not really care for cold noodles at first. But cold dishes are really nice in a hot and humid climate, I guess.
Thanks for the compliment about my pix.

pinkity
Come to Japan. I’ll make you some. ;)

Jonathan said...

Obachan,

Another beautifully written post and perfect accompanying photos! You present everything so beautifully both in your photos and your writing! You're talents should be on display in an international gourmet publication! I'm a big fan!

Jonathan

obachan said...

Jonathan,
Awww... now I'm blushing. Thank you so much for the flood of compliments.

Jonathan said...

Oh Obachan, I am sure you get it all the time! But your modesty is adorable.

keiko said...

Obachan, I KNEW it was a bad idea to visit here at lunch time, but I couldn't help it... what a beautiful looking somen, it can't be more refreshing than that.

obachan said...

jonathan
Adorable? Gosh I'm blushing more now...

keiko
Come anytime. I'll tease you ;)

zaku said...

waaa... i have a sudden craving for somen...

obachan said...

Hi zaku,
You know I feel so flattered when I hear that my post triggered someone's craving ;)