Pasta for slurping! Yes, for slurping, that "No, No!" your Mom always refrained at the table. Slurping is actually a good thing and Japanese noodles, are meant to be slurped! I was told that slurping lets the cook know how pleased you are with their dish. Pick up the hot bowl of soba or udon noodles, or the dipping bowl for cold soumen or ramen noodles, scoop about half a bite in your mouth and slurp. Kids really love this....
In the summer we have cold noodles about once a week and while there are various kinds, tsueke men (dipping noodles) is our personal favorite. Ingredients are very flexible, whatever you have in your garden or freezer is OK, hard-boiled eggs are good. I didn't have soba one day so we started using other kinds of LONG pasta.
And, I hate to admit that after 40 years, I still can't slurp very well but I practice a lot!
Frozen Shrimp, steamed and chilled, microwaved OK and Leftovers OK
Chicken Breast, steamed and chilled, microwaved OK and Leftovers OK
Japanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 Ripe tomato, cut smallish, but not diced
¼ onion, red, white, or yellow or diced spring onions OK
1 cup arugula or rocket
160 grams Spinach Fettuccine (shown) how much you think you can eat....
Chicken Soup, . See Notes on other types of broth.
Hot Pepper Sauce, other than a salsa-type hot sauce, Chinese is very good
Make sure the veggies are cold. Cut the veggies first so everything will come together quickly.
Make your dashi broth, see Notes, and cool it. Pour into individual cups or bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Put pasta on individual plates, then put all toppings on the pasta.
You can use canned crab, roast beef, or even bologna (cut in matchsticks). Okra, peppers, or mushrooms will also work. I haven't used potatoes because they are a 'starch on pasta', but I think they would taste good.
Right before eating add the sesame oil and the hot sauce to individual tastes in the dipping bowls.
The soy sauce is optional, my husband enjoys a little more saltiness so he adds about a teaspoon in his cup.
Notes. Traditional dashi broth is made with konbu (seaweed) or katsuo (bonito tuna). I used chicken (flakes or bullion OK) because it is a "salad", but I think vegetable stock could work too. Make it salty, because the dip sauce will slide back into the dipping bowl but you want some saltiness to stick to the noodles. and veggies.
For lettuce you can use baby leaf or mitsuba, but we like the stronger-flavored leaves, like watercress or shiso.
Experiment with other flavors: if you don't like hot sauce, try spicy mustard or grated ginger instead.
Noodles can be any kind-soba, ramen, spaghetti, udon- they all work well!