When one of my daughters visited Japan, she brought home a package of pink noodles (ume somen). Traditionally, they're drizzled with a spicy dressing and served cold on very hot days. The noodles, which get their lovely color from plums, have a delicately sweet flavor which pairs so nicely with the spicy dressing. The noodles are hard to find in the US, but if you come across them, do yourself a favor and grab several packages. If you can't find them, you can make the same tasty dish by substituting white somen or buckwheat soba noodles.
Bring salted water to a boil
Aren't these noodles awesome looking? I adore them. I need more of them!
Boil, stirring occasionally, like any other pasta, but keep a close eye on them because they cook very quickly.
Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Toss with spicy dressing, shopped cilantro, chopped scallions, and sprinkle with a few sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Cold Ume Somen (Japanese Plum Noodles)
makes 4 servings
- 8 ounces Ume Somen (plum noodles) or white somen or buckwheat soba noodles
- 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Cook noodles in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until al dente. They should be soft enough to eat, but not get mushy.
- Rinse noodles in cold water and drain well.
- Place noodles in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of canola oil to prevent them from sticking together.
- In a medium bowl, make dressing by whisking together rice vinegar, canola oil, sriracha, toasted sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pour dressing over noodles, veggies, cilantro, and scallions; toss well to coat. Serve immediately.
Note: can add thinly julienned veggies if desired (4 cups thinly julienned vegetables (carrots, radishes, zucchini, cabbage, snow peas, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc).