Currently, my children's favorite dish is somen, which is a traditional summertime dish in Japan (because it is served cold). It's also one of the quickest Japanese dishes you can probably make. If my kids had a choice, they would eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Here are the main ingredients that we purchased to make this dish. I have seen Japanese somen noodles and the dipping sauce sold in the ethnic aisle at the grocery store. If you can't find it at your regular grocery store, try an Asian grocery store.
We followed the directions on how to cook the noodles from the back of the package. (It is really simple to cook these noodles; the directions have been pretty much the same across different brands.)
Then we carefully added the somen to the boiling water. The somen is usually bundled together in sections when you take them out of the package. I usually cook about three or four of these bundles for me and the kids.
Once the three minutes were up, I drained the somen into a colander and cooled the noodles under cold running water.
My son then helped me fill a bowl with water and then added some ice cubes to chill the noodles. This helps keep them nice and cold for those hot summer days. (In Japan, it's very hot and humid during the summer.)
Then we said "Itadakimasu!," which is a phrase everyone says before eating a meal in Japan. There really is no English equivalent for this word, but it means "I humbly receive." After our meal, we said "Gochisousama." Again, no real English equivalent for this word, but it roughly translates into, "Thank you for this delicious meal."