Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year Soba

Soba, or buckwheat noodles, is a popular dish to eat in the New Year. I like to think that I'm becoming more Japanese as I age so I follow some Japanese food traditions.

This is a lovely spring or summer dish as well, because it is traditionally eaten cold. However, I know some of you are sitting in snowstorms and I can firmly say that this is excellent as a warm dish. I prefer it cold, no matter what the weather, because I can eat it more quickly. And I am always eating quickly.

My daughter ate more than I did and she tried to drink the soup base by itself, but I don't recommend that.

With soba, you dip one bite of noodles in the "soup" at a time. The soup is stronger and more like a dipping sauce. Don't let the soba sit in there for too long-- just dip and put it in your mouth.

Soba noodles with dipping sauce
serves 5-6

1 8 oz package soba noodles (buckwheat noodles found in an Asian market)
1/2 C soy sauce
4 T sugar
4 T mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1 C dashi (1 t dashi powder/bouillon in 1 C water)-- in a pinch I've used chicken broth with ok results
2 green onions/scallions finely sliced (white and light green parts only)
3 T sesame oil, divided
optional garnishes: cut pieces of seaweed, sliced cucumber, sesame seeds, spicy red pepper flakes, grated ginger

1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, warm soy sauce, sugar, and mirin until just barely simmering. Stir and do not let boil. Add dashi and heat until hot. Take off burner and let cool down before cooking noodles.
2. Boil 8 C water over high heat. Add noodles and stir. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse well with water.
3. Put icewater and ice cubes in a large bowl. Put noodles in icewater. Stir around.
4. In small dipping bowls, put 1/4 t sesame oil in each bowl. Then ladle 1/2 C soup into each bowl. Put a few tablespoons of scallions on top of each bowl. Optionally put sesame seeds, spice red pepper flakes, and or grated ginger on top of this.
5. Take noodles out of the ice water and place about 2 C worth of noodles on a plate and garnish with seaweed. Serve with cucumber on the side if desired. StumbleUpon


Mary Poppins in Heels said...

Oh, yum!!

yours deliciously said...

This looks so yummy and a great way to usher in the new year.

Deana Sidney said...

So simple and good after overdoing it for the holidays! Looks beautiful too!

the twins said...

looks really good! i love soba, but i didn't know it was a new year's dish

Patricia said...

I have a pack of soba noodles in the cabinet... now I know what to do with them! Thanks for the recipe. I love soba but haven't ever really made it myself.

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