Prep 10 mins
Cook 15 mins
An inexpensive noodle and broth soup, saimin is the favorite local fast food of the Hawaiian islands (also considered the national dish of Hawaii). It is considered the supreme comfort food of the Islands, eaten at any time of day. You can find this soup at snack bars, coffee shops, and even on the McDonald's menu (in Hawaii only). Saimin is basically the same thing as ramen, a Japanese noodle soup. In Hawaii, you will get the real thing, fresh, thin white noodles in a clear broth with green onions, kamaboko (fish cakes), and sometimes ham or char siu (pork). Some people add chicken, eggs, shrimp, and whatever else is desired. The Saimin is eaten very hot with chopsticks or spoons, and the broth is then drunk from the bowl. Do not be afraid to slurp, as there is simply no quiet way to eat Saimin. The prep time really varies, depending on what toppings you choose. Enjoy!
- 16 cups water (4 quarts)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 (8 ounce) packagedried japanese soba noodles
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Spam, sliced
- baked ham slices
- roast pork, slices
- carrot, sliced
- green cabbage, shredded
- bok choy, chopped
- mushroom, sliced
- green peas
- egg, Scrambled or fried
- green onions or scallion, sliced
- cooked small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add water and salt; bring to a boil. Add soba noodles and boil 4 to 6 minutes until al dente. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse under warm, running water.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, add chicken broth and ginger; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add soy sauce and your favorite toppings; simmer for 5 minutes longer or until toppings are cooked. Remove from heat.
- Place cooked soba noodles in a large soup bowl; spoon broth mixture (with toppings) over the top and serve.
This is a great dish for those "Clean Out The Refrigerator" nights. I made this entirely from things in my fridge, freezer, pantry and garden. For add-ins, I chose: scrambled egg, shredded chicken breast, snow peas, bok choy, mushrooms and scallions. I feel like I got all of the veggies I needed to have a balanced meal without feeling like I ate a pile of bland, steamed veggies. The ginger and soy really wake up the chicken broth, and make this something special. The only thing I might change is to add a bit of chile-garlic sauce, to give it a slight bite. Even without it, however, this is a fabulous, easy, versatile dish- well worth keeping in your back pocket. Thanks for posting!
Having grown up in Hawaii, I felt compelled to write this review. First of all, saimin can't possibly be Hawaii's "National dish" -- Hawaii, after all, is a state of the US, and not a nation. Secondly, japanese somen noodles (I am ethnically japanese) are not all that similar to true saimin noodles -- I understand that most readers, including myself, cannot find saimin noodles on the continental US, so finding a substitute was necessary -- so know that, even though what you are creating with this recipe may be delicious, it it not real saimin. If you do have a chance to visit Hawaii, visit a traditional saimin shop and you will understand.
We made this soup tonight for my son-in-law's birthday. We followed the base recipe exactly, then added bok choy, green onions, scrambled eggs (dropped in), and light spam (lightly fried). It was delicious! We will definately make it again! Thanks so much for a super easy recipe, that doesn't disappoint!<br/><br/>Kate