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Sunday, June 25, 2023

TanboHiro: Ch 1 - Ep 20



Chapter 1

Episode 20: Nagashi Soumen



After bringing the bamboo back home, we proceed to make Nagashi Soumen.


"First, we cut the bamboo in half."


Once the bamboo is brought down in the garden, we cut it in half using a wide-blade knife and a hammer.


There is no need to cut all the way through. If you cut about one-third of the way through, you can cleanly split the bamboo by simply lifting it up.


The beautiful grain color is revealed when the bamboo is split in half. However, some joints in the bamboo are blocking the way, so I smash them with a hammer. Then, I flattened them with a chisel.


If you skip this step, the soumen will get stuck and it’s troublesome.


When I finish smashing the joints, I pull the hose from the garden to see if the water can flow.


When I twisted the valve, water came out of the hose and flowed nicely along the bamboo.


"Okay, all that's left to do is assemble it. I'll boil the soumen and leave the assembly to you."




At this point, you don't even need 3 people.


Leaving the assembly work to Kaito and Seram, I return home to prepare soumen.


I fill the pot with water and heat it on the stove.


While waiting for the water to boil, I chop the green onions, ginger, and Myoga (Japanese ginger) and prepare the sesame seeds.


You may get bored with standard seasonings, so I prepare cucumber, stir-fried egg, tuna, and kimchi.


While preparing the ingredients, the water in the pot boiled. I put the soumen into it. Spread the soumen with chopsticks and when the water starts to bubble again, I put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat.


This is enough to boil the soumen.


The soumen are quite thin, so if you boil them over high heat, they will become sticky and lose flavor. So, this is enough.


After about 5 minutes, I checked the soumen in the pot and found that it had been boiled properly.


After rinsing the soumen in cold water to remove the sliminess, I rinse them with ice water.


The soumen are ready to eat and will not become sticky over time.


When the soumen set was finished, I put them on a tray and took them to the veranda, where I heard Seram's voice.


I look over and see a long piece of bamboo supported by tripods. This is a magnificent long Nagashi Soumen.


"Seram, could you call on Shigeru-san and Minori-san?"


Shigeru-san gave me some bamboo for the occasion. Even though we also took some for them, we should invite them. That way, the soumen will run out faster.


"I understand! I'll go call them!"


Seram immediately runs out of the garden and goes to the Sekiya's house. Somehow she looks like a dog.


"Oh, not only the seasonings but there are side dishes as well!"


"We will get bored with just the standard seasonings."


"By the way, is the dipping sauce made from dashi (Japanese soup stock made from fish and kelp)?"


"It's the ready-made kind."


"As I thought."


As expected, I do not have the stamina to make a dipping sauce from dashi (Japanese soup stock), so please forgive me.


Besides, you have no right to complain about the food I prepared.


"Jin-dono, I've called them over!"


As I am preparing some outdoor chairs, Seram comes back.


Shigeru-san and Minori-san are behind her.


"Thanks to Shigeru-san, we got some nice bamboo. Thank you very much."


"Oh, I'm glad you got some nice bamboo. We haven't had lunch yet, so I'll join you."


"Please feel free to join us."


All right, now our forces are greatly increased.


I think I'll be able to finish the soumen faster this year.


"I've brought you something to eat since you've been so generous to us."


Oh? Perhaps a side dish that goes well with soumen? Minori-san's cooking is always delicious, so I really appreciate it.


But what she gives me is soumen. And there are 36 packs of them.


"Soumen again...."


"I'm sorry. We received so much that we were troubled. As we get older, we lose our appetites. Jin-kun and Seram-chan are healthy, so you can eat them all together."


"Oh, yes. Thank you for your kindness."


I'm always grateful for their help, so I can't refuse the elderly couple's generosity.


The intention was to finish the soumen as fast as possible, but I ended up getting more of them.


"Hahaha, Jin is losing the food-sharing war this year."


Kaito laughed happily when he saw me drooping my head.


"Shut up. I went to a lot of trouble to prepare all this for you. You should contribute too."


"I know, I know. I get excited when it comes to Nagashi Soumen and eat a lot!"


When I glared at him resentfully, Kaito laughed and raised his thumbs up.


After preparing the dishes and dipping sauce for everyone, it is time to start the Nagashi Soumen.


Since I can't let the guests do the work, I am the one who pours the soumen.


At the end of the Nagashi stand, Seram, Shigeru-san, Minori-san, and Kaito are lined up.


Each holds a bowl of sauce, chopsticks and seems ready to eat.


"Seram-chan, do your best to get the catch of the bowl."


"Okay! Minori-dono!"


Minori-san speaks to Seram, who holds a pair of chopsticks and prepares for the flowing soumen.


It seems she knows this is Seram's first Nagashi Soumen experience, and she is cheering her on.


I'm unsure if she can grasp the chopsticks properly since she is still unfamiliar with them. But that is part of the fun, so I'll let her do her best.


"Then I'll start flowing them!"


As I spoke, I picked up the soumen from the colander and dropped it into the water.


As soon as they land on the water, the soumen flows smoothly on the water current.


It quickly reached Seram, who was waiting at the front of the line.




Seram's eyes widened, and she quickly grabbed the soumens with her chopsticks.


But there were only a few soumens entangled in her chopsticks.




"Got it!"


Shigeru-san and Kaito grabbed the remaining soumens.




"Yup, cold food tastes especially good this time of year."


Kaito and Shigeru slurped the soumen down.


"Ugh, my soumen..."


"Don't worry. Seram-chan, we still have plenty of soumen left."


"I know. I'll do my best!"


Seram is sulking, but Minori-san encourages her to try again.


Minori-san also taught her how to hold chopsticks. She is clumsy, but she's getting the hang of it. Maybe next time, she'll be able to grab them.


While watching her, I continued to drop the second batch of soumen.


I pour a little more soumens so that Seram can grab it easily.


"I got it! I got it, Minori-dono!"


She grabbed them up successfully this time, a bundle of soumen entangled in her chopsticks.


Everyone applauds as Serum boasts her catch.


"Well done. Hurry up and eat it with the dipping sauce."




After Minori-san says that, Seram dips her soumen into the sauce and eats it.


"Mmm! Soumen is delicious and cool! Maybe it's because the soumens are thinner than udon soumens. They go down my throat so nicely!"


Seram looks very impressed after eating the soumen.


Since she liked udon, I knew she would like soumen too.


While Seram is impressed, I consecutively drop three, four, and five batches of soumens.


Minori-san, Shigeru-san, and Kaito grabbed them smoothly and ate them.


Good. Good. Eat a lot of soumen and help me finish off the soumen.


"I'll continue to flow them."


While checking everyone's eating pace, I pour down the soumen consecutively.


It may seem tedious, but pouring the soumens into the water is surprisingly fun, so I don't mind.


At first, Seram often failed to grab the soumens, but she is improving.


"Seram-chan, you're getting good at grabbing them!"


"Thanks to Minori-dono's guidance. As long as I'm here, I won't let the soumens go through!"


"No, you have to let them through moderately, or I won't be able to eat them..."


Since Seram is improving, the number of soumen Kaito gets is decreasing.


Such interaction is one of Nagashi Soumen's best parts.


Minori-san and Shigeru-san laughed at Kaito's sad expression.


"Jin-dono, I'll switch with you."


As I pour soumens and watch the happy scene, Seram comes over to me.


"You're new to this, so just enjoy yourself. You don't have to worry about me."


"No, I am having fun too, but I want to try flowing the soumen."


Apparently, she is half concerned and half curious.


If she is willing to do it, then let her do it.


"...... I see. Then give it a try."




I switch places with Seram and leave the soumen and chopsticks with her.


"We're getting full, so Jin-kun and Kaito-kun can go before us."


"Thank you."


The two are getting full, so Kaito and I take their places at the front.


"Now, here they come!"


Seram is standing on the higher floor. She calls out to me and pours some soumens from the colander.


But the amount of soumens was too large. At first, the soumens flowed quickly, but then they stopped in the middle.


"Oh!? The soumens have stopped?"


"You poured too much soumen."


"I see."


Seram nodded in agreement and put her chopsticks into the lump of soumens that had stopped.


Then the soumen loosen and flow down.


"Jin! We'll have to take much more to get it to flow down!"


"Grab as much as you can!"


Although they have been loosened, it doesn't reduce the amount of soumens that flow through the bowl.


Kaito and I grabbed as many as we could.


We managed to grab the soumens safely, and they did not flow down.


Our bowls are filled with more than a bite of soumen...


But it is still soumen.


I slurped the soumens after dipping them in the sauce.


"Yup, delicious."


The soumens were thin but firm, with a strong wheat and salt flavor.


Above all, it goes down well, and it's best when you eat it by dipping it in the cold sauce.


"When you eat this, doesn't it feel like summer?"




As someone who has been tormented by soumen gifts every year, eating this makes me feel like summer has come.


"The next one's coming now."


"Please serve them moderately."


When I finish eating, Seram is going to pour the next batch.


This time, the amount is a bite-size, and it doesn't get stuck in the middle.


Kaito and I quickly grab them up and eat them.


Yeah, when it comes to nagashi soumen, it is best to eat a bite-sized portion.


The large portion earlier is something different.


The soumens entwined with the dipping sauce go down the back of my throat.

Seasonings such as Myoga (Japanese ginger), green onions, and ginger are also suitable for the soumen giving them a refreshing taste.


Even if you don't have an appetite due to heat or fatigue, you can eat as many as you want.


"Seram-chan, next I will pour them."


"Thanks, Minori-dono."


After a while, Minori-san switches places with her.


"Come on, youngsters. Eat to your heart's content."


Huh? I was supposed to get everyone to eat and finish the soumen, but before I knew it, I was the one eating them.

Well, maybe I shouldn't worry about small things.


We grab up the soumen as they flow by and eat many of them.




Check my article about Nagashi Soumen.

From Bamboo Slides to Flavorful Dips: Exploring Nagashi Soumen, Japan's Interactive Noodle Experience



I found a Female knight in a rice field in the countryside, they think she's my wife



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