Saturday, 22 December 2012


From time to time, there are moments when I reflect on how far I've come with my cooking in terms of general skill and confidence levels. Reading over my first posts from 6 months ago, I started GC really as a bit of laugh; mainly as a way to keep up my writing. But also because I thought it might be interesting to share my journey from amateur to domestic artiste. As such projects tend to fall by the wayside quickly, I'm genuinely suprised that I've managed to keep it up for this long...and how much I've learned along the way!

Anyway, consider this my first 'milestone' - tonight I made a very delicious soba noodle recipe that did not suck at all! I adore Japanese food but after some disastrous first attempts (one particularly ghastly fried rice that tasted like nothing but salt and soy sauce sticks in my mind - I knew the game was over when my boyfriend started searching for a tomato sauce bottle) I basically gave up. 

The tough part is balancing the delicate salty, sweet and sour flavours which make Japanese food so unique. My advice: find a credible recipe, follow it to an absolute tee, and you won't be disappointed. Instead of rice, I decided soba (buckwheat) noodles would make a nice change, and found a recipe for sesame-ginger soba noodles at Olives for Dinner.

So compared to OFD, my version looks a liiiiitle rough around the edges; but the most important part is that it wasn't too salty! What I loved was the light, fresh, gingery taste and that it can be served hot or cold. If you prefer things a little spicier, mix through a teaspoon of wasabi paste before serving.

Sesame - Ginger Soba Noodles (a la Olives for Dinner)
- 1 serving of soba noodles
- 2-3 sliced spring onions
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon of mirin
- 1/2 teasopoon of rice wine vinegar
- Steamed/raw vegetables of your choice (I used cucumber strips and pickled ginger)

Heat the sesame oil in a pan over low heat. Saute the spring onions for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high. When it has sizzled for about a minute, add the mirin then reduce heat back down to low. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

In another saucepan, bring plenty of water to a boil and cook the soba noodles for 4 minutes. When they're ready, strain and toss the sauce through the noodles.

Not complete without a liberal sprinkling of furikake (Japanese rice seasoning).

No comments:

Post a Comment