THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE FLOWING SOMEN
JAPANESE SUMMER OUTDOOR PARTY CUISINE

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1. Introduction

What is Somen?

Somen is Japanese noodle made of wheat flour and salts, which is very thin and white. 


Boiled Somen Noodle

What is Flowing Somen?

Flowing Somen is called "Nagashi Somen" or Somen Nagashi" in Japanese.
At Flowing Somen, Somen are put in water flowing along a long bamboo gutter. 
You catch the noodles with your chopsticks, dip them in a cool broth, and eat them.
Flowing Somen brings you fun and cools taste at party lunch in summer season.


Kids love Flowing Somen.

We enjoy Flowing Somen at the "Golden Week Holidays" (Apr. 29 to May 5) every year.

2. Preparation

First, you get the bamboo with 5 to 6 inch diameter.  At the Golden Week, you can get some bamboo shoot.
Please note that the bamboo is quite heavy, so that many people is needed for transportation. 

Cutting the bamboo with a saw.

It is so heavy.

Hit the wedge timber  at the same time.

To cut the bamboo vertically, first you use a hatchet. Then, you can use a square timber.
Pay attention to prevent the gutter surface twisting. To adjust the twisting, use a saw.

Break the joint using steel hummer.

Wash the bamboo gutter with running water.

3. Cooking

[Somen]

Ibono-ito is the recommended brand. 
It is not recommended to use cheap Somen. Cheap one is sometimes gets sticky.

Boil Somen with a big pot. Follow the instruction written on the Somen pouch.
Wash the boiled Somen to cool down in a draining basket with running water.

[Dip Sauce and Seasoning]

Dip sauce is made of soy-sauce, fish boiled soup, and mirin (Sweetened Sake).
But you can purchase ready-made dip sauce from Japanese food corner at Supermarket. Mitsukan and Yamasa  are well-known brands in Japan.

Chopped Green Onion Chopped Myoga Minced Sesami (White) Minced Ginger

Myoga before mincing Ready-made Sauce. Just dilute to serve.

4. Eating

Server says "Ikuyo!" (Hey, somen is coming, Are you ready?) and put Somen on the top of the bamboo gutter with running water.
(S)he is quite busy, since people along the stream require lots of somen.

Some portion of running somen reach to the end of gutter.
But those can be recycled.

To eat a lot, it is better to stand at the right side of the running direction, since you can catch Somen more easily than being at the left side.
If you are left-handed, it is better to stand on the left side. (Counter-current Chopsticks can grasp lots of somen.)  

Schematics of the Flowing Somen Serving with smile A bright kid comes to the end.

5. Case Study (In Japanese Language. Enjoy photos. Alta Vista may help translation into English.)

2004

2003

2002 Unfortunately, I was on the road. 

2001 At my friend's house

2000 Preparation and Somen Party

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6. Somen Links

Flickr Somen Group

super deluxe  (English) A non-Japanese experience. with video.

Chaya Kado (Japanese) Restaurant that Flowing Some is available. Located in Kamakura, near Tokyo.

Home Electric Flowing Somen Machine (Japanese) This is not traditional Flowing Somen. But it is funny.

USB Connected Somen Machine (Japanese) Can you believe this?

Google Search for Flowing Somen (Most in Japanese) You'll know more about Flowing Somen.

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Your feedback on this article would be highly appreciated.
Have fun with Flowing Somen.

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