The other day, we had a fun new experience that involved bamboo, ramen, and lots of water. For the first time, we had the chance to try Nagashi Somen – loosely translated as Flowing Noodles. Nagashi Somen is a summertime activity as it is most easily done outdoors and the cold water makes it a fun (and wet) activity.
In our case, a bamboo trough was set up in the yard at an angle with a cold water hose at the top. Already cooked ramen was placed at the top of the trough and was allowed to flow slowly downstream. The challenge is using your chopsticks to catch the slippery ramen as it flows down the bamboo shoot. Easier said than done of course as catching ramen with chopsticks is not as easy as it looks.
Once caught, the ramen fisherman places his noodles in a cold dipping broth before eating. The result is a cold refreshing lunch. In our case, it was eaten in a beautiful garden setting with good friends, spilled ramen, and lots of laughter.
Normally, if Nagashi Somen if served in a restaurant, the ramen that makes it all the way to the bottom of the bamboo shoot is not eaten causing a little urgency to the catching process as the noodles at the end are normally thrown away. In our case, we had plenty to go around, but the kids were having so much fun watching the noodles flow down in the cold water that even once we were all full, we continued to put the noodles at the bottom back around again just so we could catch them. Here are some photos of our fun experience.