Summertime Somen Salad

May 31st 2015

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So my brother took his family on an epic Hawaii adventure, his daughter just graduated from high school, so for her trip they decided to do it up right. I have been to both Maui and Oahu, and I love both Islands so much that I can't help but be jealous as I virtually follow their fun on Facebook.
The weather in Portland right now is crazy beautiful, sunny, hot, and just enough humidity to make everyone glow a bit, I honestly can't complain. One thing for sure, it's too hot to wanna eat hot food. So for a lazy, Sunday like today I decided to try my hand at a very popular Hawaiian salad, Somen Salad is a cold noodle salad that usually is studded with omelette, char shu, and fish cake. This salad is so popular with folks that if you go to a 7-11 in Hawaii, you can find pre made cartons of it in the deli section! My version has chicken breast, I roasted and shredded, Maui Gold pineapple, gorgeous French butter radishes, and I even crisped up the chicken skin for a crunchy bit of texture (think gluten free crouton!). I used the classic dressing...but next time I would consider adding a bit of fish sauce for a bit of umami depth.
This makes enough for luau but packs great for lunch the next day, which I am planning on doing for my daughter's lunch.
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You will need:
1 pound somen noodles, cooked for only three minutes in salted water, rinse in cold water, set aside in fridge.
1.5 cups protein of choice, I used shredded chicken breast.
1/2 head romaine shredded, iceberg is traditional so use that if you prefer
1 cup of pineapple, use carrots if you prefer.
1 cup mung bean sprouts
5 green onions, sliced thinly
1 cup radishes, I used gorgeous French Butter variety, but you can sub in another veggie you like or that is in season.
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, I had black ones, next time I would use the toasted white ones or a mixture of both.
2 tbsp chopped cilantro, use another herb if cilantro ain't your thing.
1 recipe traditional somen salad dressing

French butter radishes French butter radishes

Somen Dressing:
1/4 cup good quality soy sauce
1/4 seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 olive oil, you can use canola or veg
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp Sriracha
juice of half a lime
Check for salt level, add a bit if it seems bland.
You a immersion blender or just whisk well.
Method:
Layer ingredients as you prefer or mix it all together and serve. If you want to try the crispy chicken skin, in a skillet over medium high heat, add a few drops of cooking oil, add skin, make sure you remove any fat or unsavory stuff off of the skin by scraping with a butter knife. Cook and few minutes and flip, making sure it is gold brown and crispy.
Like I said you can customize this as per preference.
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I must say the best part was seeing the enthusiasm of my family as they were eating this, everyone loved it.
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Aloha!