Warm Japanese Soba Bowl
Of all food cultures I think it's the Japanese table I'm most enamoured by. Their preparations and ingredients are so unlike anywhere else; so uniquely tied to their landscape; to their ancestry and to their spirituality. It's hard not to fall in love with the powerful umami flavours and if you ever have the privilege of travelling there yourself be prepared to be forever haunted. This warm soba bowl is a weekly recurrence in our household. It's a bold fusion of flavours; an assortment of many parts. It might seem a lot of work but it's surprisingly not; instead of a long winded process it's simply several preparations that take no more than a few minutes each and that I think is the magic of the Japanese meal.
Warm Soba Japanese Bowl
250g soba noodles (try to find those made only of buckwheat if you can)
1 quantity of charred miso corn
1 quantity of marinated mushrooms
2 tbsp dashi stock powder
2 tbsp of dried wakeme seaweed
2 soft boiled eggs
Edamame beans, shelled (I tend to use frozen beans)
Dry roasted nori sheets, torn
Pickled umeboshi plums
Bonito flakes or dulse flakes as a vegetarian alternative
Roasted black sesame seeds
repare the soba noodles according to their instructions. If you do find those that are made only of buckwheat flour they have a tendency to stick together, so stir them continuously. I like to add a spoon of coconut oil to my pot so that they seperate better. Meanwhile prepare bring 300ml of water to boil. Dissolve the dashi stock powder and then remove from the heat before adding your dried wakeme. The residual heat will rehydrate the leaves. Assemble your soba noodles in two wide bowls; followed by a few spoons of the miso corn and marinated mushrooms. Next add the soft boiled egg, edamame beans and pickled ginger then garnish with the nori, plums, bonito or dulse and sesame seeds. Upon serving finish each bowl with the warm dashi wakeme stock and enjoy.
Charred Miso Corn
3 corn cobs, kernels removed from the shank
80g of unsalted butter
1 tbsp of miso paste
Zest of a lime
In a saucepan over low heat melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and then fold through the miso paste and lime zest. Meanwhile in a skillet over high heat char the corn kernels for 10 to 15 minutes or until they're golden with slightly burnt edges. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir through the butter, miso mixture. Serve immediately or store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
300g shitake mushrooms
1/2 cup of tamari
1/4 cup of mirin
1/4 cup of rice vinegar
2 tbsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 tsp of dried chilli flakes
Prepare the mushrooms by removing any residual dirt and the hard stems. Slice the caps and then add them to a sealable glass jar. Meanwhile combine the tamari, mirin, rice vinegar, maple syrup, ginger and chilli flakes in a seperate sealable glass jar. Shake vigorously to combine well and then pour the mixture over the mushrooms. Press the mushroom down to ensure they are well covered and refrigerate for at least 2 hours though overnight is best.
SEASONAL GUIDe / TEMPERATE CLIMATE
Corn; spring through late autumn.
also COMPLEMENTARy to serve with
Avocado, salmon, grilled sardines.
Brown rice / broccolini / pickled cucumber / shiso
Enoki mushrooms / pickled daikon / tofu