NYUMEN

Feb 20, 2022 | Recipes, Winter

煮麺 ・Nyūmen
Sōmen
Noodles Served in Piping Hot Broth

Sōmen is usually served chilled, often on chunks of ice. Dipped into a deeply flavored sauce to which condiments have been added, it becomes a survival strategy for hot, humid days. But in Kagawa Prefecture (Shikoku), one of three major producers of sōmen, the thread-thin wheat noodle is enjoyed year-round… most often as NYŪMEN.

On chilly days nyūmen makes for a quick, belly-warming meal (the noodles cook VERY quickly!) that can be as light, or substantial, as you like.

Use this BASIC RECIPE to create your own house version of NYŪMEN. Scroll down this page for BROTH OPTIONS.

Looking for more suggestions on how to take this master recipe and expand your soup repetoire? Look at the post to Kitchen Culture Cooking Club.

素麺 ・SŌMEN NOODLES

The well-kneaded noodle dough is made from a wheat flour and salt-water mixture to which sesame seed or cottonseed oil is lightly applied lightly. The noodles are gently stretched thinner and thinner. Finally, they are hung over a rack and allowed to dry before being cut into shorter lengths. The resulting dried noodles are pure white, rather brittle, thin sticks. They are packaged in bundles of about 50 grams, intended to be a single, small serving. Sōmen noodle production has traditionally been a cold-weather activity, beginning in November and going through March. Finished noodles are allowed to “age” in the warehouse for a year or more. Indeed, some believe that aged noodles are better than freshly made ones. Historically, commercial production has been centered in the wheat-growing areas of the Inland Sea, primarily the Sanuki region (modern-day Kagawa and bits of Eihime and Tokushima prefectures on the island of Shikoku).

 Download instruction on buying, storing and cooking sōmen noodles.

Simple vegan broths can be made using either Kelp Alone Stock or a mushroom-enriched version called Sankai Dashi (literally Mountain-Sea Stock). Using several varieties of kombu will add depth and complexity of flavor to your noodle soup.

Stocks using fish such as Standard Sea Stock (and Smoky Sea Stock) and Sanuki Sea Stock (made with iriko or niboshi dried sardines) are the most commonly encountered.

Earthy Gobo

Earthy Gobo

ごぼう・牛蒡・Gobō (burdock root; Arctium lappa) Kimpira, named after a folk-hero celebrated for his fervent determination and fiery ways, is a quickly assembled, skillet-stirred vegetable dish finished with an incendiary 7-spice blend. Kimpira frequently appears on the menu...

Elusive Taste of Spring: URUI

Elusive Taste of Spring: URUI

うるい・UruiThe Elusive Taste of Spring Urui (Hosta sieboldiana) is in the lily family; it is often planted as an ornamental in gardens. It thrives in damp soil in areas of partial or dappled shade. It has been cultivated in Japan since the Edo period (1603-1868) though...

KUSHI (skewers)

KUSHI (skewers)

串・KUSHISkewers Galore Because spearing or threading food on skewers makes cooking over a fire easier and more efficient it's not surprising to find some sort of skewered food in nearly every food culture. There is (Brazil's) churrasco, (Spain's) pinchos, (Turkey's)...

Chikuzen Ni

Chikuzen Ni

筑前煮・Chikuzen NiVegan Version: Soy-Braised Vegetables with Thick Fried TōfuClassic Version: Soy-Braised Vegetables with Chicken Chikuzen is the former name of a province, the area that is today part of Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyūshū. The word “ni” in the title of this...

Explore

Archives