Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tempura Soba: Japanese Noodles and Soup

Vegetable Tempura Soba

Buckwheat Noodles with Soup and Fried Veggies

    Yay! a super healthy, yummy hot soup. Traditionally served for New Year's in Japan, Buckwheat noodles are healthy and tasty. Today i will show you my method for cooking this with lots of fresh veggies, and a simple tempura. All with things you probably have available to you wherever you are. i promise (see below for substitutions and hints.).

yay! enjoy!

Serves 2

1 green onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced as shown,
1 broccoli stalk, sliced as shown
1 sweet potato
2 or 3 oz of firm tofu
1 tbs flour for dredging
2 tbs flour+ 2 tbs water for batter
1/4 cup oil for frying, grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable.
1 bundle of soba noodles
1/4 cup soba sauce
1/4 tsp dashi
1 cup water
Shichimi, (optional) -to taste

start by prepping all the veggies and tofu as shown. Hint: Toss out the thick fibrous stem end of the broccoli, but cut up and use the tasty stem. Set Sweet potato chunks in a small strainer, and place in boiling water for about five minutes, till soft, but not mushy. This will quicken the fry time they will need to cook through. Remove from water and drain well. Heat a large pot with enough water to boil noodles. Heat a small skillet or shallow pan on high heat with oil. (about 1/4" of oil, the smaller the pan you use, the less oil you'll need) Sprinkle sweet potato pieces and tofu with flour, toss to coat evenly. Mix tempura batter and coat tofu and sweet potato in batter. Lower heat in pan to medium, and add tofu and sweet potato, spacing evenly apart so they don't stick together. fry for two minutes per side, or until crispy. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Once water for noodles boils, add noodles, and cook according to package directions. When the noodles are cooked, rinse well with very cold water. Drain. place noodles in the serving bowl. Heat soup mix, water and carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and green onion in a saucepan. bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Pour soup over noodles. Top with your tempura. Garnish how you like, if you can find some i recommend Shichimi powder, a spicy japanese pepper traditionally used for this dish.

if you cannot find soba sauce (don't even really bother looking unless it's super convenient, i.e. asian grocery next door, whatever) you can make your own with simple things you should have in your home, or are easy to find anywhere and is very affordable.
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs sake (or 2 tbs mirin and no sugar)
1 tsp sugar

also, if you cannot find dashi (which i highly recommend, it is super tasty) you can try another light soup base, like pork bullion, or even chicken.
yay! enjoy!

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