Traditional somen noodles are delicate wheat flour noodles that are often served in a bowl of ice water with a side of dipping sauce. Spaghetti squash offers a fun take on tradition. This dish is great for lunch on a hot summer day or on an especially warm autumn afternoon.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: about 35 minutes
Makes 4 servings

1 medium spaghetti squash
½ cup (125 ml) Vegetarian Dashi or water

Dipping Sauce:

2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sake
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (250 ml) Vegetarian Dashi
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Place cut side down on a roasting pan. Pour the ½ cup Vegetarian Dashi or water into pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the flesh.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the mirin and sake over medium high heat for 2 minutes to cook off alcohol. Add the soy sauce, sugar and 1 cup Vegetarian Dashi. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes before using.
When the squash is ready, drag a fork across the flesh side to create thin strands. Remove the “noodles” from the skin and allow to cool before refrigerating. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Divide squash among 4 serving dishes. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds. Provide dipping sauce for each person, as well as a dish with green onions and fresh ginger root. To eat, dip the “noodles” in the green onions and fresh ginger before dipping in the sauce.

Variation

Ponzu Garlic Somen
Toss chilled “noodles” with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated garlic and 4 oz (120 g) halved cherry tomatoes. Provide Furikake Seasoning (page 30) and Vegetarian Ponzu Sauce (page 26) for dipping.