The rainy season is almost over, and it means summer has literally come. Because of extremely hot weather these days, you might feel lazy to stay the kitchen which is the hottest place at home, however, you have to make your meal to stay healthy. At that sort of time, Japanese people make cold dishes (especially noodle dishes) which can complete with using less fire. These dishes make your body cool, and that is why they become kind of summer tradition in Japan. From Japanese to Asian and Western, people try making these dishes to survive the summer. Why don’t you adopt Japanese wisdom from experience if you like cooking and are interested in Japanese dishes?
Chinese Cold Noodles; One of Japanese Summer Features
Even though it is originally from China, ramen already becomes Japanese dish. Therefore, it is one of summer tradition that the phrase “Cold Chinese noodles are now available” at Chinese style dining. However, its appearance is totally different from ramen (cold ramen also exists these days). The typical toppings are thinly sliced ham, egg, cucumber, shiitake mushroom, red pickled ginger, etc., and soup is made from dashi broth soup, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. When you boil noodles, you should do it 1 minute longer than direction because the noodles are washed in iced or cold water to removed sliminess and be tightened. Not only Chinese cold noodles, other style cold noodles also should be prepared like this. However, some cooking books also say you may boil noodles as direction, and it is up to you. Though you can know the recipe on the internet, you can also get Chinese cold noodles kit (noodles and soup) at the grocery store. If you like sesame, you may replace vinegar and soy sauce soup with sesame sauce, and it also tastes good.
Cold Bukkake Udon; Sanuki’s Local Food Is Spread Nationwide
Do you know udon has several styles by region? Sanuki udon is local food of Kagawa Pref. (there used to be called Sanuki), and it has been known nationwide lately because several Sanuki style udon restaurant chains open many stores and getting popular its reasonable price and deliciousness. You might imagine soup udon when you hear about udon, but bukkake udon (udon with concentrated broth and toppings) is as popular as soup one there. “Bukkake” means to pour in Japanese, and you can choose hot or cold both broth and udon. Especially in summer, you should choose cold bukkake udon, cold udon with cold broth. The broth for bukkake udon is made from soy sauce and dashi broth, and you can get this at grocery store or some restaurant. There are several kinds of toppings, and you may add them as you like. The typical toppings are tenkasu (small pieces of fried temoura batter), tempura, green onion, citrus like lemon, sudachi, etc. Personally, the writer likes adding salmon musubi and boiled egg tempura after eating udon to eat everything that has been served, and it looks like porridge.
Cold Soba; Healthy, Stylish, and Traditional
Soba is Japan’s one of traditional noodle dishes, and many people miss cold one especially in summer. It is said that soba is healthy food because it contains polyphenol, rutin, etc. which has anti-oxidant action. It is also served both hot (soup soba) and cold (called zarusoba, morisoba, etc.), and when you choose cold soba, it is served with concentrated broth for soba (known as sobatsuyu), some seasoning like green onion, wasabi, grated ginger, shredded seaweed paper, etc. The name of cold one varies by restaurants, but the difference is only its container. In Japan, you may slurp noodles while you are eating this, but many non-Japanese and some Japanese people feel uncomfortable with the sound, and it has been called “noodles harassment (nu-hara)” lately though this eating way has been said stylish especially in around Tokyo. By the way, when yours arrive, a kettle is occasionally followed with this. Its inside is hot water after boiled soba, which is called “sobayu”. Because soba’s nutrition is dissolved into the hot water, you should drink it. It is usually drunk with the broth, but if you may also replace it with shochu which is made from soba if you like alcohol. However, if you have soba allergy, you must not take any food which contains soba because sometimes it is a matter of life of death.
Somen; Japanese Summer Standard
Somen is also summer traditional dish in Japan. It seems to be so cool because it is usually served with glass container and the container is filled with ice and water, and that is why somen is often served at the table in summer. Though other noodles are sold as both chilled and dried at the store, but somen is usually sold as dried one. Because of its condition, somen can be kept for a long period and you may also make somen dishes after the summer is over. Not only cold one, hot somen known as nyumen is also one of popular noodle dishes. Therefore, it is occasionally used as an ingredient in miso soup, too. Because your diet would be unbalanced, you should think about toppings, or you may make it as salad.
Chilled Spaghetti; Italian Taste, Japanese Idea
Have you ever tried chilled spaghetti? You might be surprised or upset if you are from Italy because it is uncommon there, but getting popular here in Japan. The typical ingredients are tomato, basil, avocado, umeboshi (pickled plum), chicken breast, etc. When you try to make it, you should use thinner pasta which is 1.4mm in diameter because it goes well with light taste sauce, and Japanese people eat it like somen. The spaghetti below is made from cherry tomato and Italian parsley, however, you can replace tomato with tomato juice if you want to make cold tomato sauce. Moreover, you may also use soy sauce, soy milk, etc. to make it Japanese style. There are bunch of cold spaghetti recipes on the internet, and find your recipe you are curious about.