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Three-Minute Okinawan Rice Noodle Bowl

Somen are thin, white wheat noodles that people eat with a dipping sauce in other parts of Japan. In Okinawa, it’s more common to stir-fry them or add them to soup. Since they require only 2-3 minutes of boiling time, they make for quick, satisfying appetizer or entrée dishes. You can combine this with seasoned bitter melon or veggie champuru (both on page 94) to make a heartier somen champuru recipe.

Cook Time:
15 minutes

Three-Minute Okinawan Rice Noodle Bowl Recipe


1 pound somen noodles
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 cup firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch chunks
1⁄4 cup chopped garlic chives (or scallions)
Soy sauce


Cook noodles for 2-3 minutes, according to package directions.
Drain and mix noodles with sesame oil so they don’t stick together.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1⁄2 tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat and brown tofu.
When tofu is browned, add chives and somen noodles to the pan and mix well.
Season to taste with a splash or two of soy sauce.

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