Sunday, August 20, 2006

la festa al fresco-updated

I was so excited when my friend, Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice invited me to her wonderful pot-luck party called La Festa al Fresco.

Since the party is celebrating the summer's bounty, everyone needs to bring a dish featuring a fresh summer ingredient. Although, Toronto is already starting to have cooler weather (lucky guys!), it is still very hot & humid here in Japan.

I thought about what to make and I decided to make somen salad. Somen is an ingredient which I posted about recently here. This salad is really easy to make and can often be found at pot-luck parties in Hawaii.

Here's the recipe: Somen Salad, serves 6-8 adapted from "80 years of 4-H cooking in Hawaii" pages 30 & 31.
1 pkg. somen
1 head lettuce, chopped fine
1 cucumber, slivered
2 eggs, scrambled
1/4 lb. char siu, slivered
1/2 pkg. kamaboko (7 oz.), slivered
1/4 lb. ham, slivered
3 stalks green onion, chopped

1 T. sesame seeds
1/2 c. shoyu
1/4c. sugar
1/4c. vinegar
1/4c. sesame oil

Cook noodles according to package directions, rinse and drain. Mix sauce ingredients together. Chill. To serve, place somen on a large platter. Garnish with remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over salad just before serving.

Notes: Char siu, is a chinese roasted pork. If you can't get this ingredient, just use ham or shredded chicken. I didn't have either, so didn't put any into the salad.

Sometimes somen comes bound in little bundles, like this. When you buy your somen, you can either make the whole package or a couple of bundles depending on how many people you are feeding. For 2 people, I only used 1 bundle.

Kamaboko, is a fish cake paste that is steamed onto a board or bamboo rod. If you have ever had a hard time taking the kamaboko off of the board, run the back-side of your knife (the dull side) down in between of the kamaboko and the board and it will come off the board really clean!

You can use whatever veggies are available in your area--or like! I added more types of veggies than what the recipe called for.


p.s. check out Cream Puffs' site on September 5, when she posts all the foods brought to the party! I can't wait!

Update: I forgot to mention that the party is being hosted by Ivonne and Lis of La Mia Cucina (sorry Lis!)


Anonymous said...

Nice Kat. I love to discover new ingredients when i come to your blog. Had never seen Kamaboko in full like this! What is shoyu?

K and S said...

Hi Bea,
That's what I like about checking out other blogs too; discovering new ingredients, recipes, everything! Shoyu is soy sauce.
Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...


As always, you have prepared something that is both beautiful and unique! One of the things that I love most about you is that you bring such an interesting angle to the table and always have new ingredients to talk about. Your salad is gorgeous and I will certainly be sampling a lot of it during the party!

Thank you so much for taking part in La Festa al Fresco!

Lis said...

What a gorgeous dish, Kat! One of the things I love so much about La Festa al Fresco is discovering new blogs thanks to Ivonne! The colors in your Somen salad are just beautiful and I'd thank my lucky stars on any given day to be able to try this dish! Thank you so much for participating =)

K and S said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Ivonne! And thank you for inviting me to this delicious gathering!


K and S said...

Hi Lis,
Thank you! And thanks for stopping by. I hope you get to try this dish one day.

jasmine said...

How wonderful! I love the pink of hte Kamaboko.

I have yet to post my picnic offering...too bad we really couldn't do this for real...


K and S said...

Hi Jasmine,
I can't wait to see what everyone else is bringing and it is a shame that we couldn't do this for real!
Enjoy your weekend!

Anonymous said...

The salad looks wonderful! And I love the kamaboko, I've never seen it whole like that, we buy it in thin, pre-sliced flower shapes (but with the same pink and white colouring!)

K and S said...

Thanks Ellie, we can buy it like this or sometimes it is shaped as a spiral with the pink and white. In Hawaii, they even have green and white...Hope you had a nice weekend.


Anonymous said...

I'll be having some of that Kat. It looks wonderful.