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Somen Noodles

(recipe, Zena Chew)


This recipe comes from Christine Lee's family. Read more about Lee and her family traditions in Zena Chew's story "The unturkey."


  1. 2 bundles of somen noodles (available at any Asian grocery store; a package of somen typically includes several bundles)
  2. 1 can (14½ ounces) chicken broth
  3. 1 can (14½ ounces) water
  4. 3 scallions, green ends only, sliced in half lengthwise and then roughly chopped into 1-inch-long pieces
  5. ¾ cup zucchini, thinly chopped into matchstick-sized pieces
  6. 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  7. 1 egg
  8. Salt and black pepper to taste
  9. Sesame seeds for garnish
  10. Kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage, available at any Asian grocery store)


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the somen noodles and stir gently. Once the water returns to a boil, add a slosh of cold water to the pot to stop the boiling. Let the water come back to a boil and add cold water twice more, for a total of three times. (This process ensures that the noodles cook properly and turn out tender.) Drain and rinse the noodles under cold running water.
  2. Put the chicken broth, water, and garlic into a large saucepan or stockpot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, then add scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Beat the egg and pour it into the broth. Stir gently to make sure the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Let the egg rise to the top, then reduce the broth to a low simmer.
  4. Place the drained and cooled noodles in individual serving bowls and pour the hot broth into each bowl. Garnish with a few sesame seeds and eat with kimchi.