Food & Drink

Japanese Summer Cooking Tips From Grandma ・ The Key to Making Somen Noodles

Want to try making this classic summer treat at home? Somen is easy, refreshing, and more delicious than ever thanks to this cooking pro!

Image Source: JAPANKURU

Somen noodles are thin wheat noodles, more delicate than ramen, udon, or soba, and they’re traditionally eaten chilled during the summer. There’s nothing more refreshing than a dish of cool somen noodles and savory dipping sauce during the steamy days of Japanese summer, and it’s common to go eat nagashi somen for a fun meal, or even have somen to celebrate the holiday of Tanabata. But these slim noodles are a little more difficult to cook than your average instant ramen, and people often struggle to boil them for the perfect amount of time. Many home cooks in Japan can share stories of sad somen failures! It’s easy for them to get soft, gloopy, and a little unpleasant.

Image Source: JAPANKURU

“Stop boiling somen noodles already!!”

This summer, with the refreshingly delicious taste of somen on everyone’s minds, but painful memories of somen disappointment holding us back, this surprising piece of advice came to the attention of the Japankuru team. Shuddering at the thought of eating dry, uncooked somen noodles, but incredibly curious, one brave member of our team decided to find out what this was all about.

The full instructions for cooking somen noodles are as follows: “Bring the water to a boil in a deep frying pan before adding the dry somen noodles. Stir the noodles for just 10 seconds, and then immediately turn off the stove completely, and cover the pan with a lid. That’s it, in a few minutes the somen will be ready.” Just chill the noodles in some icy-cold water and you’re ready to eat!

Image Source: JAPANKURU

The tweet with these simple somen instructions immediately found popularity, quickly receiving over 200,000 likes. But the author of the tweet wasn’t the one who came up with this cooking method! No, that credit goes to an old woman who runs a popular restaurant in Kagawa Prefecture, famous for making delicious Sanuki udon. Leave it to all the grandmas out there to know the key to good home cooking!

This somen expert says “if you make somen noodles this way, they won’t get gummy and chewy, and they’ll be much more delicious than if you’d boiled them.” And, even better, “as an added bonus, you don’t have to stand at the stove and watch the noodles boil, so you can go cool off while you leave them to cook.”

Image Source: JAPANKURU

According to the tweeted testimonies of home chefs who have actually tried making somen noodles using this intriguing new method, the noodles really do have great luster and elasticity when prepared this way, and they don’t end up drying and sticking together like they do after you boil them! Plus, having the stove turned up high for less time really does help keep the kitchen cool on a hot day.

Image Source: JAPANKURU

Summer forecasts are looking hot this year, so drink lots of water, and keep cool with some somen noodles! Whether you’re living in Japan and can find somen noodles in any grocery store, or you’re overseas and want to try a taste of Japanese cooking at home (you should be able to find somen at any Asian market), this is certainly an easy recipe to try! And with this new technique, you should have a delicious dish of somen noodles in no time.

Basic Info

Name: Somen Noodles (そうめん)

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