japanese noodle water slide (nagashi somen)

Technically, I’m not allowed to post anything about my students or my work on social media – even though yesterday I posted a picture of cut watermelon (red and yellow – redandyellow redandyellow redandyellow) on my work desk, on Facebook. Woops. But I swear we work hard! I mean, it’s the bloody school holidays and we’re still here slaving away – Japanese style (work hard, play hard or just work hard).

Anyways, my recent staff lunch experience of nagashi somen, literally: “flowing noodle” or as I like to call it “noodle water slide” was too good not to share! So, if I get fired/deported for this, then so be it.

During the hothotheat of summer, the Japanese take playing with your food to a whole new level. Aquatic, to be exact.  Families split bamboo reeds in half and prop them up like slides in their backyards. A hose is placed at one end of the contraption and handfuls of cold boiled somen are dropped into the water. The host yells “Ikuyo!” and the noodles shoot forth. The aim of the game then, is to catch your dinner using chopsticks before it slides/flows away! Seriously, what the hell. Why eat noodles (stationary) out of pot or a bowl when you can slide them high-speed down bamboo? Japan, I love you.

If you already struggle with chopsticks then I recommend you watch from the sidewalk or do as my young colleague did, position yourself at the end of the slide (taking the place of the bowl/bucket which catches the uncaught noodles) and use your mouth to directly catch your dinner (and your weekly recommendation of H2O) caveman style -okay, now I’m definitely getting sacked.

We served our deliciously cool and refreshing somen with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onions, ginger and sliced ham all topped with tsuyu, a rich condiment made of shoyu (soy sauce) and dashi (fish stock).



    1. Yes! Many of them then they fall into a bucket (think i mentioned that somewhere). Actually some of the staff squatted next to the bucket and scooped their noodles out from there lol


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