A warm bowl of noodle soup – Nyumen


March 2, 2018

Oslo is freezing!!



In a cold day like this, it is so nice to have a warm bowl of noodle soup.

Udon, Soba, Somen are the three main types of Japanese noodles. Nowadays Ramen is very popular all over the world but it is originally a Chinese noodle. Udon and Somen are made from white wheat flour. Udon is a thick fat type of noodle and Somen is a thin one. Soba is made from mixture of buckwheat flour and/or white wheat flour and yam flour. People in the eastern part of Japan are said to prefer Soba and the western part eats more Udon.

Somen is a very typical summer noodle served cold but it is also very good served hot. When it is served hot, it is called Nyumen. While Soba and Udon are both served cold and warm but they do not change its name, Nyumen can be said the winter version of Somen.

Tamago Nyumen

Here is Egg Nyumen (warm Somen). It does not take much time to cook Egg Nyumen and if you can use more time to upgrade it with some savory chicken meat balls, here is the recipe. This recipe was used at my cooking class in September 2016 and it was fun to cook with you! Somen noodles (dry type) are available at asian stores and it needs just a short time to cook. Enjoy!!


Nyumen with chicken meat balls

Ingredients for 4 people
Somen noodle (dry) 6 bundles

Chicken ground meat 1 pack
Green onion 2 (minced)
Ginger 1 piece about 3 cm long (minced)
Sake 1 table spoon
Ra yu (Japanese chili sesame oil) 1 tea spoon
potato flour 1 table spoon

Salt and white pepper

Green onion to garnish

Cooked leaf vegetable like spinach or Bok Choy

Soup stock DASHI 6 cups (Dashi powder and water)
Soy sauce 3 table spoons
Mirin 1 table spoon
Salt 2/3 tea spoon

How to make :
1. Preheat your oven at 190℃

2. Put the chicken ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Add green onion, ginger, sake, Ra yu, potato flour, salt and pepper. Mix well. Make small meat balls and place them on an oven tray (use an oven paper)

3. Bake in the oven for 10-15 min. until golden browned and crispy outside.

4. In a pot put the soup stock Dashi, add soy sauce and mirin and heat it up.

5. When the meat balls are done, in a large pot bring water to a boil. Put Somen noodles and cook 2 min. Drain and wash the noodles in running water.

6. Bring the soup to boil and add Somen noodles. Serve in a bowl. Top with meat balls and green onion.
You can add some cooked leaf vegetables like spinach or Bok Choy on top.


Chicken + herbs = good bento okazu


Monday January 15, 2018


Now I am in the middle of busy planning phase for my new bathroom and kitchen.
Yay, it has been SO FUN! (but very busy…) In addition to choosing different drawers and cabinets, colors are also my big issue these days. It seems like gray kitchens have been so popular all over the world, I see SO MANY pictures of stylish gray kitchens on Instagram and Pinterest. Personally I think gray is a kind of tricky color. Because there are so many different tones of gray, some are darker, some have brown or even purple tone in it, and it is kind of tricky to decide after you have seen just a tiny little sample sheet of gray paint…. But if you put light gray with light white, it is so pretty! I love this combination! And since there is this ultimate beautiful counter top of marble stone in grayish color, I think gray kitchen cabinets will stay popular for a long long time.

Color combination and food pairing have similarities. It is either :
1) Ingredients enhance each other or
2) Ingredients kill each other


Many of well-known bad examples are with milk products. Milk + herbs (milk kills the fragile essence of the herbs), milk + Edamame, milk + pineapples are very well known. Wine + cucumber (did you know?), deep fried food + water melon (did you knowwww?) are also known. In Japan we have many interesting examples, we say we do not pair eel and pickled plums, crabs + persimmons, brown sugar and bamboo shoots. Funny.

There are many good combinations, and here is one example.




Chicken + herb = good bento okazu. 🙂 Here I am using fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, bacon, flour. Fry with olive oil, sautee red onion on the side. You can use maybe basil or parsley too. Adding lemon won’t be too bad either, I think.

Good luck!
xxx Rie

Chicken Tender and Vegetable Roll



Here is a good chicken dish for both bento and dinner using chicken tenderloin.  In Japan or USA I can buy beautiful chicken tenderloin very reasonable, in Norway chicken are rather expensive.  I wish the price would go down more as it is a healthy kind of meat of high-protain and low fat and I really like its white meat and the mild taste.  You may have seen a white ligament called tendon attached to chicken tenderloin.  It is a ligament attaching the tenderloin to the breast. In some countries (like Japan) butchers remove the tendon for you but here in Norway I have to do it myself.

Removing tendon from chicken tenderloin is a simple task but needs practice a couple of times. Since it is fixed in the tenderloin meat itself you may end up cutting away a lot of meat with it. A piece of chicken tenderloin is not a big part. It weighs about only 40-45g each and you need to avoid taking away good chicken meat with the tendon.


Place tenderloin on a cutting board with the fat end close to your left hand (If you are a left handed and holding a knife with your left hand, place the fat end close to your right hand).  You see a white tendon is sticking out and please grab it. Take your sharp knife and slide it between the tendon and the meat (see the photo above) and you can pull the tendon firmly toward you as you slide the knife along the tendon.  Tendon gets thinner toward the end of the tenderloin. If you could not take out the whole tendon, that is ok, it’s not harmful.   After you removed tendon, make a slit lengthwise to butterfly and make a flat piece.

S4DSC_6519  S4DSC_6521


Norwegian chicken tenderloin are rather small and I used 3 tenderloin to make 1 roll. If you get larger chicken tenderloin you can maybe use only 2.  Place tenderloin on a cutting board and sprinkle some salt and pepper.

Boil some carrot and green onion lightly in salt water and cool.
Place them on the chicken. I sometimes use cheese too.


and you can roll up from the end closest to you.


Salt and pepper again and place them in your fridge for 15 minutes.  (This is to settle the rolls before frying)


Coat with flour, egg and panko.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry until golden brown.
Take them on a kitchen paper to drain.
Cut in 3 and serve with some fresh salad.
Bon Appetite!

xxx Rie