Few "holidays" are more evocative of summer for me than Tanabata, the Japanese star festival. When we're in Japan we enjoy the festive bamboo decorations with colorful tanzaku (small pieces of paper with wishes written on them) fluttering from the branches. Every town seems to have their own matsuri festival with carnival games, treats and performances... I'm filled with nostalgia just thinking about it and longing to find one in our area.
Though we'll miss out on attending a matsuri this year, at least we can indulge in some summery Japanese treats. One of our favorite summertime dishes is hiyashi somen, a delightful cold noodle dish. There is a great recipe on La Fuji Mama that I am excited to try, mostly because I like the idea of making my own dipping sauce as opposed to purchasing a ready-made sauce (full of MSG).
via which also has a recipe for dipping sauce sans MSG.
In the midst of this excruciating heat wave (am I allowed to be that dramatic? I am 5 months pregnant with twins after all...) this seems like the perfect food to prepare and eat. Minimal time over a hot stove and maximum cooling power. A must for tonight's dinner.