I first tasted this noodle salad in a pocket years ago when my cousin brought it to my Christmas party. I never got the recipe from her because when I asked, she said it’s just somen noodles, fish cake, and green onions tossed with a sesame dressing. Okay, that sounds easy. Since then, Laura has left us and I think about her every time I make it, as it has become a family favorite.
Somen noodles are thin white Japanese wheat noodles. They come in neat little bundles held together by a paper ring. You can find them in the Asian food aisle. The pink and white fish cake, called kamaboko, might be a little trickier to find. Some markets carry it in the refrigerator section, but it you can’t find it, you could substitute shrimp, imitation or real crab, or even shredded chicken.
Anyway, the fish cake is kind of interesting as it’s shaped like a log cut in half length-wise and it’s attached to a piece of wood. I know, sounds a bit weird, but that’s how it’s molded.
The fried soybean curd pockets can be purchased in a can…found in the Asian food aisle. That would be the most common type you’d find. If you’re near a real Asian food market, they will carry them in package form found in the refrigerator section. If you frequent sushi places, you’ll recognize these as they’re used to make inari sushi where the pockets are filled with sweet seasoned rice.
This finger food…well, you might have to use more than just two fingers to hold it…is a bit more ethnic than my usual recipes, but I think if you like sushi and noodles, you’ll find this quite tasty.
Makes about a dozen
- 2 T sesame oi
- 3 T rice vinegar
- 3 T sugar
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 can or package of fried soybean curd (reserve 1 T of the liquid)
- 1 bundle of somen noodles
- ½ of pink kamaboko (fish cake)
- 3T green onions, chopped
Make the sauce and set aside, so sugar can dissolve.
Cut the fish cake off of the board it lays on. Cut in half. Save the other half for ramen garnish or stir fry. Cut the remaining half into thin one-eighth inch slices. Stack a few at a time and cut into slivers. Set aside.
Follow package directions for cooking the somen noodles. Drain in colander and run cold water over it to cool. Toss to get most of the water out.
Combine the noodles, fish cake, and green onions in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of reserved liquid from fried soybean curd container to the sauce. Pour sauce over ingredients and toss to coat.
Carefully separate the opening side of a piece of fried soybean curd. It can tear easily. Fill the pocket with the noodle mix. Refrigerate until serving time.