10 min 2 easy make ahead Recipes - Japanese reduced sodium somen

Somen no tsuketsuyu, goma-aji / sesame-flavored dipping sauce for thin wheat noodles

Ground toasted sesame seeds and chili bean sauce make this somen noodle dipping sauce taste richer and more satisfying. Great cold or hot.

1/4 of recipe (dipping sauce only):
54 calories; 2.2 g protein; 3.0 g fat; 3.4 g carbohydrate; 2.4 g net carbs; 228 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 0.7 g fiber


1/3 of recipe (dipping sauce only):
72 calories; 2.9 g protein; 4.0 g fat; 4.5 g carbohydrate; 3.6 g net carbs; 304 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 0.9 g fiber


Whole recipe (dipping sauce only):
216 calories; 8.7 g protein; 11.9 g fat; 13.5 g carbohydrate; 10.7 g net carbs; 913 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 2.8 g fiber

<Ingredients>

(Serves 3-4)

150-160 cc strong dashi (made with below)
      200 cc water
      6 g katsuobushi bonito flakes
      1 small piece kombu kelp
1 1/2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
3 1/2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/8 tobanjan chili bean sauce

<Directions>
1.

Bring water for dashi to boil.

Pour over katsuobushi and kelp, and let sit for 5+ minutes. 

2.

In a small pot or stove-top resistant container, put mirin, and bring to boil to let out alcohol.

Add soy sauce, shoyukoji and dashi, and heat. 

Remove any foam that
appears on surface. 

Immediately before mixture boils, remove from heat.

3.

Grind sesame seeds in suribachi mortar, and add to soy sauce + dashi mixture.

Put vinegar in suribachi, mix with any remaining ground sesame seeds, and pour into soy sauce + dashi mixture.

Add tobanjan, and mix well.
Chill in the fridge if serving cold.

<Notes>

  • Serve with somen thin wheat noodles along with available condiments (grated ginger, sliced green onions, julienned shiso perilla leaves, myoga Japanese ginger buds or kaiware daikon radish sprouts).
  • Kinshitamago julienned egg crepe, fresh vegetables (tomatoes, sliced kyuri cucumber), grilled or steamed vegetables (eggplant, okra, zucchini) or mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, eringi) are great companions, as is steamed or grilled seafood or meat. 
  • One thing to remember if you are on a reduced-sodium diet: Eating more condiments or goodies naturally increases the amount of dipping sauce you consume, which translates into higher sodium intake (from goodies and dipping sauce).
  • On a very hot day, somen noodles can be served in ice water (photo at right) for an extra cooling effect on both the eye and mouth. Eating it this way relatively quickly dilutes the dipping sauce, and you will likely consume more due to adding more sauce or replacing diluted sauce.
  • The strong dashi above is double-strength compared to regular dashi. It can be made even deeper by using niboshi dashi (adding some sodium) in place of water, or by adding a few pieces of shami dried shrimp (adding some sodium) or 1/4-1/2 dried shiitake (adding no sodium).