August 28, 2007

Six Flavor Summer Somen Salad with Cucumber and Green Onion

150 gram package somen noodles
4 scallions, chopped
1 cucumber* sliced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon miso (your choice)
2 inch knob fresh ginger, finely grated
sesame seeds to taste

Cook somen in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and rise in cold water. Place in a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the vineger, ginger, oil, miso, sake, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Toss with noodles. Top with green onions and cucumber. Serve.

Yield: about 4 servings

*Try and use a variety of long Asian variety or sub an English cuke if necessary.

My thoughts:
This is one of of those totally off the cuff-use-up-whatever-is-on-hand recipes that turned out really well. Amazingly well. I basically made it to use up some somen I found languishing in the back of the cabinet, but it has become of my husband's new favorite recipes. If you don't have somen, you could use the thicker, buckwheat soba noodles would work as well, but I like the finer texture of thin wheat noodles. I've generally only had somen served cold with a flavored broth or dressing, toppings and the noodles all in separate bowls or it hot in soup or my favorite incarnation, nagashi somen. It is so hot out, a quick noodle salad sounded like a less daunting, but no less tasty option. I served with with a simple miso glazed eggplant and added a bit of miso to the dressing to help tie the flavors together. The combination of the miso and the sake added a sort of salty/vaguely sweet touch that I enjoyed. The salad keeps well overnight for lunches the next day.