Somen are one of the varieties of noodles made of wheat flour and are very thin. These noodles are very popular in Japan and are made by stretching. The texture of these noodles is similar to angel hair pasta and vermicelli. Somen is relished in hot soups in winter and is served with ice during the summer season.
History And Origin Of Somen Noodle
Somen belong to Japan and are the thinnest noodles of Asia. One of the traditional foods of Japanese, these noodles were earlier produced majorly in Harima province. In the present times, these noodles are made by machine, though people still prefer to eat the handmade stretched noodles for they superior texture and taste.
Method of Preparation Of Somen Noodles
Somen is made from wheat flour. Dough is prepared using the flour, salt and water. The dough is rolled into long ropes which have a thickness of finger. These long dough ropes are brushed with oil and left for some time. After sometime, when the dough is ready, it is stretched with the help of two sticks and made as thin as thread. The noodles are usually less than 1.2 mm.
Nutritive Value Of Somen Noodle
These thinnest noodles of Asia are low fat and contain high complex carbohydrates. These carbs help the body in providing continued energy. Although, the noodles are not a rich source of minerals and protein, they benefit the body by delivering protein of high quality.
Popular Somen Recipes
Somen noodle stir fry- It is one of the easiest recipe. This dish is made by boiling the noodles and stirring it with vegetables and soy sauce. Chicken and meat pieces can also be added to enhance the flavor of this easy to make dish.
Cold somen- These thin Japanese noodles usually taste better when served cold. The noodles are served cold with Japanese dipping sauce, known as Mentsuyu. The noodles are garnished with ginger, shiso leaves and myoga slices.
Tanabatasomen- It is a popular dish of Japan, mostly relished on Tanabata which is celebrated on 7th July and is also known as star festival. The dish basically consists of an omelet topped with cucumber, okra and tomatoes which is served with noodles dipping sauce and somen.
Serving Suggestions For Somen Noodles
Cold somen is usually served with mentsuyu. Mentsuyu is a dipping sauce for noodles and is easily available in Japanese food joints. These noodles also add to the taste of various soups served mostly during winter season. These thin noodleswhen served in soups are called nyumen. Japanese love to eat these noodles cold in summers and serve them with ice.
Buying And Storing Somen Noodles
Somen is mostly stored in packaged form in almost all Asian food stores. The noodles are sold in dried form. These noodles are available throughout the year. These dried noodles can be stored for months in cool and dark place. However, boiled noodles should be consumed within 3-4 days.
Trivia- Somen Noodles
The government created a standard related to the diameter of somen, according to which these noodles cannot be more than 1 millimeter in diameter.