Chilled Tomato Somen

There’s no escaping the record-breaking 113 degree weather in Los Angeles. It wouldn’t be so bad except my husband and I are all about gaman. That means we’re the only crazy people on our street to tough it out and not turn on our air conditioning. I had to figure out a dinner plan that would give us some respite.

I like that the ingredients for this recipe are accessible to those of us outside Japan, but I have to admit it was strange to eat somen this way. I’m used to eating it with a dashi-based soup so the basil and garlic really threw me. But after a few bites I found the flavors to be spot on. It had just the right amount of saltiness and the perfect hint of garlic. The sweetness of the tomatoes and the fragrant basil melded together beautifully. A simple, refreshing meal on an unusually hot autumn night!

On another note, I want to thank everyone who voted for me for the first round of Project Food Blog! Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut, but hope you continue to check out all the amazing bloggers and vote for your favorites! This week’s voting ends September 30.

Chilled Tomato Somen
Adapted from Japanese Pure and Simple
Makes 4 servings

3 medium-sized tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. shoyu
3-4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 bunches somen
freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil, chiffonade

Make and “X” incision on the bottom of the tomatoes and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, or until the skin begins to peel. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain, then peel the skin off the tomatoes. Slice in half, remove all the seeds, chop, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the grated garlic, salt, shoyu, and olive oil and mix. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

Cook the somen in a pot of boiling water according to the package directions. After it’s cooked, drain, rinse under cold running water until cool, drain again, and put in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and toss. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with basil.

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  1. Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Mmm… I don’t eat cold noodle salads that often but right now that looks SO refreshing! (I live in LA also)

  2. Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Roxan, we need to do what we can to get through this heat wave!

  3. Posted October 15, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I can’t BELIEVE you didn’t make it – I just came across your blog for the first time and I love it (and boy, I’ve read my fair share of food blogs!). Absolutely stunning and crisp shots and interesting recipes…mysteries shall never cease.

  4. Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Sasa, thank you for your kind comment! I have to admit I was bummed not to make the cut, but there are so many talented bloggers out there, including your site! I just briefly checked it out, but I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. We have similar passions!!

  5. Posted October 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Great use of somen! I love the color and the flavor combination.
    I also like how you kept it so simple and healthy.

  6. Posted October 21, 2010 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    i’ve been waiting for tomato season in Australia to make a dish like this. so fresh! so delicious!

  7. Posted October 21, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Kitchen M! It means a lot coming from you!

    LimeCake, I hope you get your hands on some sweet tomatoes and enjoy this recipe!

  8. Jenny
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I made this the other day and have been eating it for the better part of two days! I used dried basil as I didn’t have any fresh, and added tuna flakes for a bit of protein. DELICIOUS!!!

  9. Posted August 6, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Jenny, it’s been so hot over here and I’d lost the will to turn on the stove. But your comment made me go back and take a look at this recipe. Perfect for this kind of weather. Thank you and I’m so happy you liked it!

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