the taste space

Enoki somen (aka Enoki mushrooms with somen noodles)

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by Janet M on January 11, 2010

I really enjoy the simplicity of Japanese cuisine. A few ingredients can whip up a quick and tasty dish. I absolutely love enoki mushrooms, which are very popular in Japan. They are white and slender, with a very delicate flavour (they converted me from a mushroom hater). Like most mushrooms, they absorb their taste from the rest of the dish.

In this dish, they are paired nicely, and blend in almost interchangeably with somen noodles (can you spot the tips in the photo?).  Somen noodles are a fine white noodle made with wheat flour, and are the queen of Japanese noodles as they were a favourite of the imperial palaces and Buddhist temples. They are mostly machine-made but homemade noodles are pulled and rested at great lengths to make such slender noodles. Undoubtedly, the thin noodles are a joy to eat. They are typically eaten chilled during the summer months, but this dish, Enoki somen (Enoki mushrooms with somen noodles), adapted from The Japanese Kitchen by Kimiko Barber, pairs both in a warm dashi broth. I wasn’t sure what leftovers would look or taste like, so I modified to recipe to serve 1 and it was very filling.

This was a lovely noodle dish, a cross between noodles and soup.. a soup rather overflowing with noodles, or noodles dressed lightly with broth. Either way, I loved its simplicity and taste. Enjoy!

A note about finding these ingredients in Toronto:

Enoki mushrooms – These can be found in most Asian grocery stores, including those in Chinatown, T&T and Bestwin. I snap them up when they go on sale for 2 packages for $2 at T&T.

Somen noodles – Likewise, they can be found at all Asian stores and well-stocked grocery stores like Loblaws.

For tips about buying mirin, dashi and soy sauce, please see my suggestions, previously posted here and here.

This post is being submitted to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Gay from Scientist in the Kitchen.

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