When it comes to Japanese noodles, soba, udon, and ramen are well known. However, I believe that somen will also become well known in the future. Somen are dry noodles made from wheat flour, below 1.3mm diameter by Japan Agricultural Standard, traditionally eaten chilled during the Japanese summer. Unlike ramen, a greasy soup which comes in many varieties, somen is a healthy food which is dipped in a soy sauce-based dipping sauce and eaten.
Toa Foods will export Halal-certified somen from Banshu (the ancient name of the Himeji area in Hyogo Prefecture), Japan’s leading somen production area to foreign countries. As somen are dried noodles, they are easily preserved, and it is this as well as domestic demand that led to the acquisition of Halal certification in anticipation of export overseas.
Banshu is also the setting for this year’s NHK Taiga Drama “Gunshi Kanbee”, in which a number of famous historical spots make an appearance. This drama is broadcast internationally as a program on NHK World Premium, so check it out it if you can. I look forward to the day when the somen eaten by the main character Kanbee in the World Heritage Himeji Castle reaches Islamic countries.
Toa Foods Co., Ltd. (Japanese website only)