Tokoroten: Japanese Summer Seaweed Jelly Noodles
As previously written, we Japanese sometimes enjoy Kuzukiri (葛切り) noodles as a refreshing dessert during the hot summer months.
And in addition, what I introduce here, Tokoroten (ところてん), is also a traditional Japanese noodle that becomes a refreshment staple in the summertime.
What is Tokoroten?
Tokoroten is a translucent jelly noodle made from seaweed called Tengusa (天草) or Ogonori (オゴノリ).
The seaweed jelly is almost tasteless. So before eating, We usually dress it with Sanbaizu (三杯酢) sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, and mirin.
Since the sauce is vinegary and not sweet, the seasoned jelly noodles are more of a side dish, like salad, than a dessert.
Unlike Kuzukiri, Tokoroten is not chewy. It has a jelly-like smooth, slippery texture, giving a pleasant feeling when passing through the throat.
Where to Eat/Buy
In Japan, there are even shops that specialize in Tokoroten noodles. Many are located in the mountains and open only during the summertime.
Therefore, when people drive to a mountain in the summer, we sometimes stop by one such place for a break and enjoy its specialty seaweed jelly noodles.
In daily life, we purchase Tokoroten in supermarkets and eat the noodles at home as an afternoon snack or a side dish.
How to Prepare/Eat
In most cases, you don’t have to cook those commercial Tokoroten noodles, as they are pre-prepared.
Usually, just put the jelly noodles into a bowl and season them with the Sanbaizu vinegar sauce and yellow mustard that come with the package.
We eat the seasoned noodles with chopsticks like slurping ramen.