Cold Somen Noodles
Somen are thin white Japanese noodles, usually eaten in the Summer months. This noodles are traditionally served cold with a light dipping sauce called tsuyu.
This is very easy to prepare, I served this for lunch as the temperatures is extremely warm today.
First, you need to make your toppings. I made three kinds: mushrooms, egg and sesame leaves. Get several pieces of dried shiitake mushrooms and rehydrate it in warm water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain mushrooms and reserve the water used to rehydrate it. Pour this in a pot and add enough water to measure 300 ml. Then place your mushrooms and add 3 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp soy sauce and let this cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let it cool before slicing and set aside.
For the egg crepe, break 2 eggs in a small bowl add a pinch of salt and beat until frothy. Heat a non stick pan and add oil. Pour a small amount of egg on the pan and tilt to thinly cover entire surface. Cook on both sides for few minutes, working quickly as not to burn it. Place cooked egg on paper towels to remove excess oil. Repeat process until all your eggs are used up. Cut your eggs into thin strips.
Prepare your sesame leaves by running each leaf in cold water to clean. Then pile it together and roll and cut into thin strips. Place in a bowl of water to untangle and squeeze gently to remove excess water.
To cook the somen noodles, place water in a medium sized pan about 3/4 of the way and let this come to a boil. Then add your somen noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Make sure you stir while cooking to prevent it sticking together. Once 3 minutes is up pour 1 cup of cold water to stop cooking and drain. Rinse it thoroughly under cold running water.
To eat, place your noodles in a bowl, arrange your egg crepe, mushrooms and sesame leaves on top and pour tsuyu. How much you add depends on your taste. You can buy prepared tsuyu in bottles at any Asian grocer.