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Bento Recipe: Somen noodles


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Somen is a Japanese summer dish composed of fine wheat noodles served in chilled water with garnishes. Doesn't sound too great, does it? But when I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised, enough so that even though this isn't something for a bento box, I'm cheating and posting about it anyway.

It's simple to make. Take a cup of water, mix in some hon-dashi (fish stock), and set it in the freezer. While that's chilling down, boil a package of somen noodles for two minutes, then drain them and rinse them with cold water. Put the noodles in a bowl, cover with the chilled water, add an ice cube if you like, and add some garnishes. In the bowl pictured here I used some shiitake cooked according to the chirashi-zushi recipe and some thinly-sliced cucumber. Feel free to put in whatever appeals to you.

At the time I made this I had a dipping sauce recipe, but not the ingredients it listed, so I just mixed a dash each of soy sauce, mirin, and rice wine vinegar, then dabbed it onto the noodles with my chopsticks. Next time I make these, I'll try a more proper dipping sauce.