Somen Salad

Somen salad - full pan

July 5, 2024

Somen salad is a popular cold noodle salad in Hawaii. It has its origins in Japanese cuisine but like many dishes found in Hawaii, has become a fusion dish (as evidenced by the use of Spam or char siu). You’ll often find a version of somen salad at a potluck and it also makes a great meal prep option for workday lunches.

What are somen noodles?

Somen is a thin Japanese wheat noodle. The noodles are pale in color and mild in flavor. Somen noodles are relatively inexpensive and if you cannot find them in your local grocery store, you can easily purchase them online. Alternatively, you may substitute with angel hair pasta.

While these noodles may look similar to the rice vermicelli found in Vietnamese bún bowls, they do not become hard if stored in the refrigerator after being cooked. However, if you plan to serve the dish relatively soon after preparing it, rice vermicelli makes a good alternative to somen noodles.

Dried somen noodles
Dried somen noodles

Salad components

Like any good summertime dish, somen salad requires very little cooking. Boiling the noodles and making a simple, thin egg omelet are the only things requiring cooking.

Most of the work is in the preparation of fresh vegetables – lettuce, cucumbers, carrots – and proteins – Spam and kamaboko.

For presentation, everything is layered in the serving dish. Just before serving, the salad is tossed with the somen dressing.

Serving and storage

This salad may be made in advance but reserve dressing the salad until just before serving or the noodles will become mushy and the vegetables will wilt. The same is true if you are meal prepping in advance for workday lunches – pack the salad and dressing separately and only dress right before eating.

Somen salad - workday lunch
Somen salad makes a great workday lunch
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Somen salad - full pan

Somen Salad

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


This chilled noodle salad is popular in Hawaii as a potluck dish but also makes a satisfying meal. It’s easy to prepare and transport, and deliciously refreshing.



For the salad

1 8-ounce package dried somen noodles*

2 eggs, scrambled and lightly seasoned

2 cups shredded lettuce, iceberg or romaine

1 carrot, julienned

1 medium Japanese cucumber, julienned

1 5.5-ounce block kamaboko, julienned

1 12-ounce can low-sodium Spam, julienned**

3 stalks green onion, sliced

For the dressing

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce


In a small jar, mix the dressing ingredients until combined. Set aside.

Cook the somen noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Layer on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Cook the eggs into a thin omelet. Roll up like a jelly roll then cut into thin strips.

Layer the lettuce, carrot, cucumber, kamaboko, and Spam evenly over the cooked somen noodles. Sprinkle with sliced green onions.

Just before serving, shake the dressing well and pour over the salad. Serve immediately.


*You may substitute with dried angel hair pasta

**You may also use ham or char siu.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Calories: 250.12
  • Sugar: 3.85 g.
  • Sodium: 569.5 mg.
  • Fat: 14.23 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 4.02 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 20.15 g.
  • Fiber: 1.22 g.
  • Protein: 10.12 g.
  • Cholesterol: 48.97 mg.

Keywords: somen noodles, egg, kamaboko

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