Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Soba Noodles with Unagi


This is another easy to prepare noodle dish. Do not be discouraged by its foreign sounding name. It is yummy. It is healthy. It is Japanese and the Japanese are known for their simple and nutritious dishes.

Soba is a thin type of Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour. The Japanese themselves prefer this type of noodles over rice or other kinds of noodles because it has a high amount of Thiamine (protection against beri-beri). Soba is readily available in major groceries and supermarkets here. I am sure it is available around the world in any Asian grocery as well. Here is the pack of soba that I was able to purchase.




The instructions were in Japanese!!! But I gathered that these noodles are to be boiled for 6 minutes (some Japanese words/symbols are similar to the Chinese). And from the pictures, I gathered that the noodles are supposed to be washed/blanched in cold water after boiling. So, that is what I did! And the resulting texture of the noodles were perfect al-dente!




We now make the dashi soup stock. You either buy a ready made dashi (which I did) and simply dissolve the pack in water. Or you can make dashi from scratch, which is simple, actually. Just boil some bonito (thin fish flakes) in water, strain the flakes out and you got your dashi soup stock!

To make the sauce, which the Japanese call "tsuyu," we combine an equal amount of dashi and a good quality Japanese soy sauce and some mirin (Japanese sweet wine). You can add some wasabi paste to the soup/sauce if you prefer. This is what we did to make our noodles more spicy!

(Shhh... I also found there is a ready-made tsuyu available in the supermarket! You do not even have to make this sauce anymore!)

Arrange the noodles in the serving bowl. Add the tsuyu. Top with slivers of nori (seaweed) and chopped scallions. Eat with chopsticks! Slurp! Slurp! Do you know in Asia, we consider it polite to slurp the noodle soup? Because it "tells" the cook that you enjoy your food! :)




That is the basic cold soba dish. It is more of preparing and combining the ingredients rather than cooking. There is also a hot version of soba. But usually the cold version is preferred because that is the best way to experience the texture of the noodles. If you put the noodles in hot soup, they may get soggy and change their consistency.

You may eat the cold soba dish as is. Or for a more complete meal, you can add tofu, steamed fish or any meat.

For our first soba experience, I topped it with Unagi (ready-made, it was bought frozen) cooked Japanese broiled eel!





I am sharing this easy and healthy noodles dish with the Presto Pasta Nights community, headed by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. This week's host is Psychgrad of the Equal Opportunity Kitchen. To see last week's delicious pasta recipe, please click on the round-up here.

13 comments:

Joseph said...

Wow that looks good and easy to make. I'm going to try to make that. Thanks for the post, Ning.

Zue Murphy said...

Ning, I like Japanese noodle although I am not familiar with its name. Oh! No, try to drink your coffee with tiny almost unheard slurpy sound and American will give you a big eye almost popping out look.they say we have no manners. How rude!

Divya said...

I dont eat seafood or meat, and I so wish that was tofu or something. But it looks lovely. Nice picture.

Psychgrad said...

This looks so flavourful! I haven't tried soba noodles or unagi. Wonderful presentation!

I first learned about slurping when I went to an Italian restaurant with a group of Japanese people. I didn't know that slurping signified enjoyment of the meal. Growing up, I got in trouble for making noise with my food. So, I started to giggle at all of the slurping noise while at the restaurant. I think it's just a cultural difference or misunderstanding - not intentional rudeness.

Thank you for participating in this week's Presto Pasta Nights. I'll work on getting a submission to you for Bookmarked Recipes.

noobcook said...

looks good even though I don't eat unagi... hehee

Soli Deo Gloria said...

You're welcome Joseph, and thanks for the compliment! :)

Zue, Psychgrad, I know about the cultural difference. My generation has become "westernized" as well. I have taught my kids not to slurp at any cost, except if its grandma's cooking :)

Divya, Noobcook, you can omit the (unagi)seafood and add tofu instead :) or whatever topping you prefer...

Joseph said...

I think noodle slurping is generally part of the Japanese tradition. Chinese people do not intentionally slurp their noodles contrary to what most non-Asians think.

Soli Deo Gloria said...

I agree with you Joseph, I do not think we were raised to slurp our soup, too. I grew up not too aware of this cultural difference. Actually, I'm surprised that this slurping issue got more reactions than the dish itself! Not that I mind, of course. I welcome all discussions regarding any issue :)

tigerfish said...

I've tried many ways of soba but not with dashi stock yet (one of the most traditional.) :P

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Tigerfish, you've got to try the dashi stock! It has a very simple and clean taste. If you prefer spicy, you can add wasabi paste to the soup. Ooooh, I'm drooling again!

Galatians 5:22 said...

Me want unagi! Yum Yum unagi!

viagra online said...

Thank you very much for the recipe, keep posting I love recipes for weekend.

Iberica Consultores said...

Hello my friend, i like this post because talk about a good topic that is related with Invertir en oro

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs