On a Hot Day

July 17, 2009

So refreshing

Cold and Sour

On a hot day I find nothing more refreshing than an icy-cold, verging on too-sour Japanese sunomono salad. The dressing is a simple sweetened vinegar, and the noodles are called harusame. Harusame, or cellophane noodles, are gluten-free and are made from either mung bean, rice, or sweet potato starch. This salad can be garnished with whatever takes your fancy. My mom uses cucumber, lemon and clams. You can see clearly what I garnished mine with – the frilly deep purple leaf is from my friend Alisa’s herb garden, it’s shiso, a Japanese herb. I also put in sea asparagus and wakame, or seaweed. Use whatever you like, some fresh hand-peeled shrimp or other seafood, a tiny bit of grated ginger, you get the idea. I think harusame noodles are probably void of nutrition, but if you serve it with a bit of protein – fresh grilled fish or chicken – it will do. Also, there’s not a lot of roughage on the salad, just a tidbit, so while I was making this salad I ate two mini cucumbers, some carrot sticks, a handful of wakame, and a lot of sea asparagus. The cold, cold, sourness of this salad is so satisfying. Not qualities you desire in a friend but in a salad, on a hot day, it’s perfect.

Serves 4 generously, or 6 for more restrained, Japanese-sized polite portions

1 – 200 g package harusame

1 cup Japanese rice vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar*

1/4 cup agave nectar, or to taste

pinch of sea salt

your choice of seafood and vegetable garnishes

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add harusame noodles and let boil for about three minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure the noodles don’t adhere to the pot bottom. Drain into a sieve and run cold water over them until they feel chilled through. Meanwhile, stir together vinegars, agave and sea salt. Divide noodles into bowls and pour a little of the seasoned vinegar over top. Top with a slice of this and some slivered that. Eat your vegetable trimmings and extras. You can find all these ingredients at Fujiya.

* traditionally you would use only rice vinegar, but I added some apple cider vinegar because it’s an unusually healthful acid

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One Response to “On a Hot Day”

  1. JenG said

    Yes! I’ve been waiting for this one : )

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