Summertime Somen Salad

May 31st 2015

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.
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.
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.
I must say the best part was seeing the enthusiasm of my family as they were eating this, everyone loved it.