Somen noodles w/Sweet Soy-Ginger Sauce -Takashi’s Noodles Cookbook

somen noodle recipe

Since our remarkable trip to Japan in August, we’ve been craving Japanese noodles with a vengence. We ate all the udon, somen, soba and ramen our stomachs could handle in 9 days and it was an amazing experience and education in the history and culture of Japanese noodles. We never got tired of slurping our way through Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Each region’s noodle specialties were all so different, delicate and highlighted some magnificent regional flair. Coming back home, we were looking for a cookbook that shared some techniques on making hand-cut noodles because of  one of the two precious Japanese knives we brought home was noodle knife.

38810618Takahi’s Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi and Harris Salat was one of the great cookbooks that we found to teach us what we left off since our departure from Japan. Both Takashi and Harris collaborated on an informative and technically valuable cookbook that offers recipes for both the novice and die-hard noodle aficionados. The cookbook has gorgeous photographs too to whet the appetite and inspire the noodle cook.

A very valuable facet of this cookbook is that the recipes offer ingredient options found in American grocery stores. There are so many great noodle recipes for both traditional Asian noodles and Japanese interpretations of pasta, we didn’t know where to start. The first recipe we made was a simple sweet soy-ginger sauce and it was a hit!  With just 8 simple ingredients, in less than 30 minutes, we had a fabulous and satisfying noodle meal.

somen noodle recipe

The dried somen noodles are thin, delicate and so quick to cook, these noodles should be a-must-have in every pantry. Thinner than angel-hair pasta, dried somen noodles takes minutes to boil and tossing them with the 10 minute sweet soy-ginger sauce is a complete meal in itself. The versatility of the sauce and recipe is endless: toss it with your favorite pasta, add some steamed vegetables or grilled meats on top. The cold somen noodles can be eaten with warm noodles too and it’s equally fantastic as a warm noodle dish. We were inspired by some gorgeous Japanese mushrooms we found at the market and quickly blanched them to add to the somen noodle dish.

japanese-hot-pots-book-151x160Harris Salat is an expert on Japanese cuisine and also has a new cookbook out that we’re excited to dig into. Japanese Hot-Pots cookbook is his newest release that covers an extensive array of hot pot cuisine! Warm, hot pot is so perfect for the Winter chill, we’ll be loading up on some of his great hot pot recipes.

More info about  Salat Cookbooks:

Japanese Somen Noodles Recipe with Sweet Soy-Ginger Sauce

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 14 oz. dried somen noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated or minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste, chili garlic sauce or chili flakes
  • green onions for garnish
  • water to dilute the sauce if it's too salty (optional)
  • steamed vegetables (optional)
  • grilled meat (optional)


  1. Cook somen noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, combine rest of sauce ingredients: garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and chili paste/sauce/flakes. Add additional teaspoons of water to dilute the sauce if it's too salty
  3. When ready to serve, dress sweet soy-ginger sauce over somen noodles. Serve cold.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Becca

    Thank you so much! Tried this tonight for my husband. Started with a simple spinach, cucumber, and red onion salad with a yuzu salad dressing. Then made the noodles and substituted the chili paste for sriracha sauce. Put some simple water chestnuts and sprouts on top, and garnished with the green onions.

    I think I counted him complimenting me three times.
    He’s the cook of the house.

  2. Danielle

    I made this recipe and it was INCREDIBLE! All of the other Somen recipes I had went through seemed like their sauces just wouldn’t have enough “Umph” for my liking. This one was JUST RIGHT! I chopped up some fresh cabbage, bean sprouts, and carrots to throw in the mix and it was fabulous! I even saved the leftover sauce as a marinade for chicken for tonight. Mahalo Todd and Diane! :)

  3. Shirataki Noodles

    i have some packets of shirataki noodles i’ll try your recipe with this !!

  4. Kate at Serendipity

    We went to Japan in October and had the same feeling as you describe. We are now home in Belgium and trying to find Japanese restaurants and ingredients and cookbooks. Thanks for the tip on this one! AND for the recipe. It sounds perfect.

    Oh, and Merry Christmas!

  5. Fuji Mama

    I’ve been wondering about this book! I love anything that Harris Salat puts his mark on, so I’m not surprised to hear you like it. Now to get my hands on a copy…

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Fuji Mama- It’s such a versatile cookbook, and has noodle recipes from other parts of the world too!

  6. Bianca

    I LOVE somen noodles!

  7. tigerfish

    I have been using somen noodles very often. They are quicker to cook than instant noodles! And I love it!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Tigerfish – It’s amazing how quickly somen noodles cook and best of all, they’re so light and fresh!

  8. Sheetal

    Considering my love for noodles … I have to get my hands on this book! .. and I love that the recipe is so versatile and simple! Awesome photographs, as always guys!

  9. deana (lostpastremembered)

    I should have known the photo came from white on rice! Breathtaking shot… and the noodles read delicious! Thanks for constantly inspiring!

  10. Hélène

    Oh my I would love a big bowl :)

  11. vicki

    Hi, i know this is nit picky, but “to whet one’s appetite” is spelt “whet” and not “wet”.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Vicki- thanks! we corrected it asap! 😀

      1. vicki

        Thanks! I love the site (when I’m not being OCD). This noodle dish in particular, is going on the dinner table sometime this weekend!
        I agree with the comment about a noodle-crazed Tokyo experience. I had so many bowls of awesome, pork-fat-drippingly beautiful ramen when i was there… It makes me drool to think about it now.

  12. Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home

    A 30 minute meal that I would actually eat. For me the grilled meat is not optional – it’s a must!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Erika – addition of meat or vegetables really make this a complete meal. Go for it!

  13. Cheryl

    Now I am really hungry! Simple but delicious. My kind of meal…

    I think I need to put that book on my Christmas list.

  14. Jeff

    Those are some sexy looking noodles and now I must head to the Asian market. Dang you!!! You keep messing up my dinner plans…..hehehehehe

    That sweet soy ginger sauce got me thinking of a marinade I could use for some pork chops I have stuck in the freezer.

    Awesome job!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Jeff- the marinade would be awesome on pork chops! Let us know how it turns out!

  15. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    Ok it’s 6:35am…noodles for breakfast…thats ok right??? lol

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Lisa- it’s perfectly OK to have this for early morning breakfast. We eat noodles for breakfast all the time!

  16. Happy Cook

    I want that bowl of noodles. Looks so so delicous.

  17. Simone (junglefrog)

    This looks so incredibly gorgeous! Love it!

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