Surume Somen: A Classic Squid Snack like Thin Noodles
When Japanese people think of the noodle dish that is perfect for summer, many will bring to mind “Somen (素麺)”. Somen is a thin white noodle made of wheat flour, usually served chilled.
In Japan, there are several foods similar in appearance to Somen noodles, and those typically have the word “Somen” in their name to suggest that they are thin and long like Somen.
If I give a representative example of such Japanese foods, what comes to my mind right away is “Surume Somen (するめそうめん)”.
Surume Somen (するめそうめん)
As mentioned above, Somen is a thin and long wheat noodle, but do you know what “Surume (するめ)” is? If you know what it is, you will be able to imagine what kind of food Surume Somen is.
For the unfamiliar, Surume is a traditional Japanese snack food made from squid called “Surume Ika (スルメイカ)” that’s been gutted and dried in the sun.
We usually toast the dried unseasoned whole squid in a toaster oven, shred by hand, and eat the strips dipping in mayonnaise.
Now, you could picture what Surume Somen looks like. It is similar to Somen noodles and is made up of thin strips of dried squid. Surume Somen is much thinner than average Surume shreds, as shown below.
After grilling and seasoning whole Surume squid, it is cut into very thin strips like these. Surume Somen is a snack with plenty of umami and is much easier to eat than ordinary Surume shreds, thanks to its thinness.
According to the ingredient list on the back of the package, this Surume Somen consists of squid, sugar, salt, sorbitol, and amino acid seasoning.
Where to Buy
Surume Somen is a long-time favorite Otsumami snack, so it is available in many supermarkets and convenience stores around the country.