Catch Your Noodles With A Flowing Somen Slide

somen slide

Flowing Somen is one of the most fun approaches to eating cuisine that you are likely to see. Somen are a popular type of Japanese noodle made from wheat flour and salt. It is a particularly thin noodle which is white in color and usually served cold.

Boiled Somen Japanese noodles are a delicious and refreshing summer treat but every "Golden Week Holiday" they take on a unique twist. During the "Golden Week Holidays" people gather outside at a picnic to eat somen from a flowing bamboo tube. This tradition is known as "Flowing Somen".


How A Flowing Somen Slide Works

A flowing somen slide involves flowing water along a half bamboo shoot which acts as a funnel. The somen noodles are then placed into the flowing water.

Somen Slide

Guest use their chopsticks to catch the Somen, dip them into a cool broth known as Tsuyu and then eat them.  The guests that fail to catch with their chopsticks is caught at a basket placed at the end of the bamboo flume. Noodles that aren't caught will usually not be eaten.

This gives the guest an incentive to catch as many noodles as they can. Often at then end of the party guests will be shown the bucket so that they can see just how many delicious somen noodles they have missed out on.

How To Prepare A Flowing Somen Party

First you need to locate a bamboo shoot which is about six inches in diameter. You can use an axe to cut the down the bamboo shoot. Next you need to cut the bamboo vertically using a hatchet. You can then placed a square piece of timber to open up the bamboo. Its important that the flume you cut is even so that the water flows easily downwards. After you have finished preparing your bamboo flume using running water to wash it out.

Bamboo Somen Slide

Flowing somen is also sometimes featured in restaurants. This can range from half cut bamboo flumes to real water streams. There are also plastic flowing somen flumes that you can purchase to enjoy this summer treat in the comfort of your own home.

If you don't feel like building one, you can always buy a Family miniature set from Japan Trend Shop.

Somen slide kit

What Are Somen Noodles?

Somen noodles are about 1.3mm in diameter. They are typically served cold with a light dipping sauce which is called tsuyu. This sauce is usually flavored with ginger, myoga or Japanese onion. During the summer the somen will also be chilled with ice to help it stay cool. 

What Is Golden Week?

Golden week lasts from April 29th to May 5th. It is a period which covers a series of national holidays. During this period many Japanese companies close down for about a week to ten days. People will often spend Golden week travelling around the country. It is also a time when Japanese people can gather with their friends and family and enjoy age old traditions like "flowing somen".

Catching Flowing Somen Isn't Easy!

Catching flowing somen noodles coming down the bamboo flume isn't as easy as it may seem. You need to be pretty co-ordinated with your chopsticks if you want to end up with more than a few single strands of Somen noodles in your bowel. But whether you are a skilled chopstick user or something of an amateur, flowing somen is still plenty of fun!  Check out the video below to see how fun it is!

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