somen served over ice with a person dipping some of the noodles in sauce

Somen Noodles

Somen are thin noodles made from wheat that are very popular in Japan. Served cold in the summer, they can be enjoyed as a refreshing meal or snack.  This is a simple recipe for cold somen that can be enjoyed on a hot day – or any other time!

Somen is a popular noodle dish in Japan. It is eaten cold in the summer and served with a variety of dipping sauces. The most common dipping sauce is somen tsuyu, which is a light soy-based sauce made with katsuobushi (dried and shaved bonito).

Somen a very thin noodle made from wheat flour.  It is usually sold in boxes where it is bundled into individual size serving packages. Somen often has other ingredients mixed into the flour to give it unique colors or tastes.

Somen Noodles (そうめん)

Somen noodles are wonderful when served over ice and dipped in tsuyu. The tsuyu often has herbs such as shiso, scallions and myuga added to enhance the flavor.

The photos below show three different types of soba – one made with wheat only, one made with plum, and one made with egg. Different companies carry somen noodles miked with other ingredients including shiitake mushrooms, carrot, spinach, and a plethora of other adders.

3 types of cooked somen
Three types of cooked somen, Ume (Plum), Wheat and Egg
10 mins 2 mins 1 serving
PREP 10 mins
COOKING 2 mins
YIELD 1 serving
somen served over ice with a person dipping some of the noodles in sauce


Somen Noodles

  • 1 pack of somen
  • shiso leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 bulb of myouga (Japanese ginger), chopped finely – or substitute 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • scallion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup somen tsuyu


  • Boil: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the somen and boil for 1 1/2 minutes stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Cool:  Using tongs, put the somen in a bowl of water to cool.
  • Serve: Serve over ice with tsuyu on the side.  Add shiso, myouga (or ginger), and scallion to the tsuyu to taste.

Somen over ice with tsuyu


  1. If your tsuyu is too salty you can add a little water to dilute it.  But be careful not to dilute the sauce too much or the somen will be a bit bland.
  2. Somen can also be eaten hot.  This recipe is for cold somen, but to serve hot you can just serve it out of the pot when it finishes boiling.

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