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January 2007

How To Make Somen Noodles Soup

Unlike pasta, which is made of durum wheat semolina, the Japanese somen noodles are made of just wheat flour, therefore they require slightly different cooking. However, somen noodles do cook similarly to capellini noodles.

Here is how to cook somen:

1. Put 1 lb. of somen noodles into 3-4 liters of boiling water. Add 1 teaspoonful salt. Stir well. One pound of somen noodles is usually enough for 5 people. If you need less than that, you should use 1 bundle per person. Somen noodles usually come in individual bundles within the package.

2. Let the somen boil for about 3 minutes, while checking to make sure not to overcook them.

Somen noodles

Somen noodles

3. Strain the boiled somen noodles in a colander in the sink, and run briefly the cold water over them.

4. In the meantime, prepare your soup broth. Somen soup can consist of many different ingredients and flavors, but it basically is a light, flavorful broth with some seafood and vegetables in it. You can use chicken broth, vegetable broth or even anchovy broth. Other ingredients that you can use in your somen soup broth are: poached egg, chopped scallions, steamed shrimp or scallops, shiitake mushrooms, shredded cucumber and carrots, lemongrass, bock choi, smoked tofu, miso paste (fermented or un-fermented), coconut cream, etc.

5. Season the somen soup to taste and incorporate the noodles in it. Serve.

I usually like to add a dash of sesame oil to the somen soup just before serving, to enhance the flavor.

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Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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