In the last throes of summer, a mound of somen noodles served atop a bed of ice may be the perfect meal. Somen are thin wheat noodles, as thin as vermicelli, more delicate than buckwheat. Twirled around chopsticks and dipped in a sauce made with soy sauce and dashi, the noddles don't require much prep, and are utterly refreshing. Each noodle, dipped in sauce, is cold, firm, and rich.
- 8 ounces dried somen
- For the dipping sauce:
- 7 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups dashi
- 1/2 cup bonito flakes
To make the dipping sauce, heat the soy sauce and sugar in a pot over low heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Add the dashi and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the bonito flakes and turn off the heat. Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Let the sauce cool, then refrigerate it. The sauce can be kept in a container for 4 days in the refrigerator. .
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the somen noodles and cook until the noodles are still firm in the center, about one minute. Pour the noodles into a colander and rinse under cold running water, then place the noodles into a bowl of ice water for up to an hour.
To serve, mound the noodles over a bowl of ice and dip in the dipping sauce before eating. Serve with your choice of sides and garnishes.