Eating “flowing noodles” or Nagashi-sōmen (流しそうめん) is a Japanese custom or tradition during summer season. Bunches of sōmen are put in the cool water to slide along series of half-cut bamboo gutters from a higher location down the water stream. When the noodles arrive in front of you, you have to catch them immediately with chopsticks before they flow away. Then, you can deep that in a cool sauce and eat them right away. ₊·*◟(˶╹̆ꇴ╹̆˵)◜‧*・

Many places in Japan will hold the Nagashi-sōmen activity during the golden week holidays during end of April and early May. And some ryokan restaurant such as Hirobun (ひろ文) in Kibune, Kyoto will also provide nagashi-sōmen during summer time. To prepare that, people will get the bamboo with 5 to 6 inch in diameter, cut it vertically along its length and fix it on stands.

Sōmen (素麺、そうめん) – the noodles

Thin white Japanese noodles made of white wheat flour which are less than 1.3 mm in diameter. The dough for making sōmen noodles is stretched with the help of vegetable oil, forming very thin strips and air dried.

Wait!! Are sōmen always in white colour?
Sometimes you may see sōmen in other colours as well. For instance, mei sōmen (梅そうめん) is a popular plum-flavoured sōmen which is pink in colour.

Tsuyu (つゆ) – the sauce

Sōmen are usually served cold with a dipping sauce called Tsuyu (つゆ). Tsuyu is a Katsuobushi (鰹節)-based sauce, that can be flavored with ginger, Japanese bunching onion, myoga, or even white sesame. It is vey rich and tasty. You can dilute it when serving with sōmen.

If you do not know about Katsuobushi, it is a dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna. Have you seen the fish on the bottle? That is exactly the skipjack tuna! (^O^)/

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