I *adore* Japanese food: light. healthy. comforting. flavorful. artful and delicious.
Now, I completely sympathize with those who feel the confusion and bewilderment when going to an asian grocery store for the first time because there are sooooooo many unfamiliar ingredients and even if I could guess what something was by the packaging, I would have no clue on how to use such an ingredient. However, I am lucky that my brother married a woman from Japan so I have someone to help me sort through (read: explain) all the items I cannot read in the grocery store. As we came across about 50 jars of furikake, she explained that Furikake is a common table condiment in any Japanese household much like salt is a common table condiment in an American household. I picked a simple, traditional Furikake with just Nori and sesame seeds...but the possibilities and flavors are endless and I encourage you to explore the options....
* Somen noodles
* Iceberg lettuce, shredded
* Carrots, shredded
* Green onions
* Somen Tsuyu (Noodle soup base that is diluted with water to taste)
* Boil somen noodles for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water.
* Roll somen around a fork to shape little balls. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
* Arrange first 4 ingredients to make a beautiful salad!
* Sprinkle with Furikake.
* Put Tsuyu in a separate side dish for dipping or put tsuyu over salad as desired.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do...