Cycle 5 – Item 345
16 (Tue) December 2014
Nyumen with Grilled Prawns & Fresh Spinach
in my apartment
-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
Somen is a type of Japanese noodle. Each strand is thin – “small (so) + noodle (men)” – thinner than angel hair pasta. Made of flour. Produced and packaged dry. Cooked in boiling water for a minute or so. In Japan, it’s served plain with a soy-based dipping sauce, similar to zaru soba – the term “somen” refers by default to such a dish. Also as a warm noodle soup, in which case the dish is called “nyu(simmered)men.” Koreans also make somyeon in broth and as an accompaniment to spicy stir-fried squid/octopus. In any case, somen/somyeon provides a light touch, more silky than starchy.
I’d purchased a packet of high-end somen on my trip to Kobe/Osaka, where the regional style favors nyumen.
While I would typically chop and sauté spinach to make a topping, I was suddenly inspired to lay out the spinach in its raw form as a bed for the noodles and then pour the broth over everything, allowing the vegetables to soften a bit from the heat but retain some freshness. It kinda worked, but I used too much spinach, and the broth wasn’t hot enough. But it’s an idea that I’ll try again.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)