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.
Check it out - the pasta water turned pink!
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, vegetables, cilantro, and scallions; toss well to coat. Serve immediately.
You can add thinly julienned vegetables if desired (4 cups thinly julienned vegetables (carrots, radishes, zucchini, cabbage, snow peas, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc).