Around the World in 12 Dishes: Japan: Somen

As we continue our travels around the world in our Around the World in 12 Dishes series…it wasn’t too difficult for my kids to decide what dish we should prepare for this month’s country, Japan.  Since I am half Japanese, from time to time I cook Japanese foods for them.  Currently, their favorite dish is somen, which was a perfect choice, because it is a traditional summertime dish in Japan.  It’s also one of the quickest Japanese dishes you can probably make.  If my kids had a choice, they would eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


  • Somen noodles
  • Somen Tsuyu (dipping sauce)
  • Boiling water
  • Ice cubes
  • Green scallions (optional)


First cook the somen according to the package instructions.  The instructions are usually the same for most brands.

For the brand we purchased…it said to boil a pot of water.

Gently add somen to the boiling water.


Then let it boil for 3 minutes.

Drain somen in colander and cool under running cold water.

Fill a bowl with water and add some ice cubes to chill somen.  This keeps it nice a cold for those hot summer days.

In smaller serving bowls, pour a little bit of somen dipping sauce and add a few green scallions (optional).

Then say “Itadakimasu”!  Which is a phrase everyone says before eating a meal in Japan.  There really is no English equivalent for this word, but it means “I humbly receive”.  Then take some somen and put it into your bowl and enjoy!

I bought these cute training chopsticks for my kids, and they are pretty simple to use. In case you were wondering, they are called Pororo Edison Training Chopsticks for Children.

After you are done eating, Japanese people say “Gochisousama”.  Again, no real English equivalent for this word, but it roughly translates into “Thank you for this delicious meal”.


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