Somen Salad

READY IN: 40mins




  • Clean lettuce and tear into bite sized pieces. Dry lettuce in a spinner and spread pieces on a large serving platter.
  • Boil one to one and a half quarts of water in a large saucepan. Drop somen noodles in boiling water and cook until soft about 3-5 minutes. Do not over cook. You can substitute soba (buckwheat noodles) if you like. Drain and place in iced water to stop cooking. Drain noodles in colandar or strainer. Coat noodles with a tablespoon of canola oil to keep them from sticking.
  • Crack eggs into a small bowl and whisk until light yellow. Fry eggs, omelette style in an oiled saute pan over medium heat. Turning when eggs are set. Remove from pan and cool. Slice into thin strips and set aside.
  • Slice cooked boiled ham into thin strips. You could also add shredded cooked chicken. Set aside.
  • Slice char siu pork into thin strips and set aside.
  • Peel and slice cucumber lengthwise. Remove seeds with a spoon. Slice cucumber into matchstick sized pieces and set aside.
  • Slice kamaboko (Japanese fishcake), into thin strips about an inch long and 1/8 inch thick and set aside. You can substitute crab or surimi (imitation crab sticks) instead.
  • Clean scallions (green onions). Cut off the roots and the tips of the leaves if they are brown. Chop the scallions, including the green leaves into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.
  • Additional ingredients you can add would be thinly sliced celery, diced tofu, gobo-ten, grated carrots, jicama, zucchini, or cooked shrimp.
  • If sesame seeds are not already toasted, toast sesame seeds in a small dry saute pan over medium heat, shaking pot to stir the seeds until you hear them pop and they become aromatic. Remove from heat and place seeds in a bowl to cool. Be careful not to overcook them, they burn easily.
  • In a jar with a tight lid (glass jars are better), combine the rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and canola oil. Cover with lid and shake until well blended. Shake again before serving. You can double the dressing if you like.
  • To assemble salad, Take about 1/3 cup of noodles and make a bundle. Place bundles of noodles on the lettuce. Sprinkle chopped ham, over the noodles followed by char siu pork, cucumber, egg omelette strips, kamaboko, and any additional topping of your choice, and then top with green onions. If you prefer you can put the lettuce and somen in individual plates and keep the toppings in separate containers. Each person can choose which toppings they want.
  • Immediately before serving, shake jar of dressing and pour over salad.