Somen Salad

October 6: National Noodle Day

One of the most colorful, attractive and popular potluck dishes in Hawaii is somen salad, a cold wheat noodle dish topped with slivers of fried egg (tamago), meat (char siu, ham or Spam), fish cake (kamaboko) and vegetables. The dressing is a sweet soy-vinegar sauce that complements this salad well. As a side dish, it is light enough to eat with an entrée. As the main meal, it is hearty and satisfying enough but not heavy. Somen salad can be prepared ahead of time and people can assemble the ingredients they prefer for themselves. But it is the presentation of all the toppings that make this a pretty and picture-perfect food.

Hawaii adapted somen salad from a similar Japanese recipe called “hiyashi chuka”, a cold ramen noodle dish translated as “chilled Chinese” food. The Vietnamese also have their tasty noodle bowls. They are all yummy in their own way. So celebrate National Noodle Day with oodles of noodles, colorful toppings and a delicious dressing—and serve up somen salad!


(From Mary Ann P. and Phyllis S.)

For the dressing

  • 1 cup chicken broth/stock
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup shoyu (soy sauce)
  • ¼ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil


In a saucepan, combine the chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Add the sesame oil. Bring mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Save for later (we bottle and refrigerate the rest).

For the salad

  • 1-2 eggs, beaten and fried, cut into strips
  • Lettuce, chopped/shredded
  • Cucumber, chopped into strips
  • Carrots, cut into “match sticks”
  • ½ block kamaboko (fish cake), chopped into strips
  • Char siu, ham or Spam, cut into slivers
  • Cilantro leaves and chopped green onion to garnish (optional)
  • 1 package (9 ounces) somen noodles, cooked and drained


Beat the eggs, fry in a pan and slice into strips.

Shred the lettuce. Chop the cucumbers and carrots into strips. Cut the fish cake into strips.

Cut the char siu/ham/Spam into slivers. Chop some green onions and/or cilantro for the garnish (optional).

Cook the noodles according to the package, about 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Arrange the noodles in a tray. Garnish the top with the egg, vegetables and meat. Garnish with green onions and cilantro (optional). Serve with the salad dressing on the side.


  • Mahalo to our friends Mary Ann B. and Phyllis S. for sharing their somen salad recipes.
  • Substitute the kamaboko fish cake for kanikama crab meat.
  • Search our blog for more noodle recipes, like pancit and pasta.