Somen Stuffed Aburage is a local Hawaii dish featuring somen noodles stuffed into inari-age (seasoned aburage) pockets. All the ingredients are easily found at a Japanese supermarket. Serve at room temperature or chilled, both ways are onolicious!
Rice is the main starch of Hawaii, followed by noodles (or poi) ^_^
Another way to enjoy somen is as Somen Stuffed Aburage. This is one of those super local, semi-old school dishes that are popular at potlucks and birthday parties.
Someone mom or auntie is bound to make a tray of somen stuffed aburage for the potluck. And to make it easy to take from the potluck table, each piece is often placed in a cupcake liner!
Why This Recipe Works
This recipe is easy and delicious.
Boil the somen noodles. Drain and toss with a dressing made of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sugar. Add kamaboko (Japanese fish cake) and seaweed salad.
Mix and then stuff the noodle mixture into inari-age (which are seasoned aburage pouches). And then you can eat!
This is a fun dish to share and little kids especially love it because it's colorful and fun. And who doesn't love somen and aburage??
It's a flexible dish. You can replace the kamaboko with other types of protein like Spam or ham or leave it out completely. The ocean salad provides a nice crunch but you can substitute another cooked vegetable like spinach.
The main sprit of the dish is to make a tasty somen mixture and then stuff it into the inari-age pouches. Have fun and feel free to add your own twist!
Notes from a local:
- Aburage or Aburaage? In Hawaii we spell it as Aburage. Outside of Hawaii it is spelled as Aburaage.
- This dish should technically be called Somen Stuffed Inari-Age, but in Hawaii we call it Somen Stuffed Aburage.
You can find all the ingredients at a Japanese supermarket.
If you're in Hawaii, you can also find most ingredients at markets like Times Supermarket and Foodland and even at Longs Drugs Hawaii.
Here's what you'll need:
- Inari-age - Inari-age are aburage pouches that have been prepared and seasoned. They may also go by the name, seasoned aburage or seasoned bean curd wrapper. For this recipe we purchase the inari-age. If you have time, you can make your own inari-age from aburage.
- Dried somen noodles
- Kamaboko - steamed Japanese fish cake.
- Seaweed Salad - Also called "ocean salad". In addition to Japanese markets, you can find seaweed salad at some Costco locations including Costco Hawaii.
- Rice Vinegar
- Soy Sauce - We usually use Kikkoman or Aloha. Use low-sodium if preferred.
- Sesame Oil - The Kadoya brand is reliable.
Step by Step Directions
Ready to begin cooking? ^_^
Make the dressing.
Mix together the sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the noodles.
Break the somen noodles in half. Cook the somen noodles according to directions on the package (it should say boil for 1-2 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold running water.
Pro-tip: It's important to rinse with cold water or the noodles will continue to cook and get over cooked ^_^
Place the noodles in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing on top and mix. Add the kamaboko and seaweed salad. Toss, toss, toss.
Remove the inari-age from the package. Drain any excess juice/moisture from the inari-age package (no need to work extra hard for this, we just don't want the pieces dripping with juice).
Then stuff the somen noodle mixture into each aburage piece.
Eat and enjoy!
We usually eat it right after making, so it's just slightly cool. This dish is also tasty chilled.
FAQs and Tips
1 day in the refrigerator. Best to eat the day it is prepared. If bringing to a potluck party, you can prepare this dish several hours in advance.
No problem. You can eat it plain! The inari-age is what makes this dish unique, but the somen noodle mixture is delicious on it's own.
Just pour the somen mixture into a bowl. Grab a pair of chopsticks and devour. You could even call this a somen ocean salad recipe.
Do the same thing with any extra/leftover somen mixture. This recipe is essentially Somen Salad with different toppings, and stuffed into the inari-age pouches.
No problem. Replace the kamaboko with thinly sliced Spam or ham. You can even use char siu. Or you can skip the meat entirely and make it a vegetarian dish.
Somen Stuffed Aburage Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- 16 pieces inari-age (also called “seasoned aburage” or “seasoned bean curd wrapper”)
- 2 bundles of dried somen (8-ounces total)
- 1 6-ounce block of kamaboko (Japanese fish cake), julienned
- 8-ounces seaweed salad (also called "ocean salad")
- Make the dressing. Mix together the sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside.
- Break the somen noodles in half. Cook the somen noodles according to directions on the package (boil 1-2 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold running water.
- Place the noodles in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing on top and mix. Add the kamaboko and seaweed salad. Toss, toss, toss.
- Remove the inari-age from the package. Drain any excess juice/moisture from the inari-age. Stuff the noodle mixture into each inari-age piece.
- Eat and enjoy! Also good served chilled.