We love noodles at our house. We eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do not be surprised that noodles are eaten for breakfast as they often are in many parts of Asia. Fewer things beat a warm soupy bowl of noodles on a cold morning. It is a bowl of comfort and one that is delicious and also very quick and easy to prepare.
I love the convenience of dried noodles and have a good supply in my pantry. I have my favorites but I continue to add to it whenever I come across something interesting. I first saw this ume somen (plum flavored vermicelli) at Anncoo Journal way back in October of 2010. I was so captivated by the pink noodles and was curious as to its taste. I immediately went on a hunt for them but unfortunately they were no where to be found near me.
Although these noodles are made in Japan, I have not seen them in my trips there. It is a summer time specialty. Since Ann is based in Singapore, I told myself that I would get some during one of my periodic visits to the region. I was actually out there this summer but it totally slipped my mind. Good thing Ro-Ri San had a scheduled business trip three months after my return. With help from Ann on directions to the store, Ro-Ri San was able to bring two packets home for me. Many thanks to Ann and hubby. 🙂
Somen are very soft wheat noodles. They may be eaten cold with a dipping sauce as in zaru soba (cold noodles) or warm, usually in a bowl of soup. Since the weather is cold now, I wanted something warm. I kept the soup simple, flavored with instant dashi, soy sauce, and mirin so as not to overpower the delicate fragrance and taste of the noodles. They reminded me of sakura tea, a Japanese infusion of dried cherry blossoms pickled in plum vinegar and salt. I got to taste this refreshing beverage during my last trip to Japan. You can read about it here.
I decided to pair the somen with edamame (green soy beans) for a contrast of colors. I also threw in a few shrimps for added flavor.
Boil edamame in lightly salted water for about 3 minutes. Remove with a strainer. Add shrimps and allow them to cook for 2 minutes or until shrimps curl and turn pink. Remove and set aside. Discard water.
Fill saucepan again half full with fresh water. Bring it to a boil. Add ume somen and allow it to cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a strainer.
Divide cooked somen between 2 bowls. Top with half of the edamame and 5 shrimps for each bowl.
Pour 2½ cups (600ml) water in the saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Add instant dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. When it comes back to a boil, turn off heat.
Pour soup over noodles and topping. Serve immediately.
I really like the way this Ume Somen with Edamame and Shrimps turned out. It is aesthetically pleasing and very tasty too.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎