February Daring Cooks, Soba and Tempura
The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com.
I love Japanese food. So when I read the challenge I was excited to get started. Tempura is something I have done quite often. The cold soba noodle salad was another story. A little tempura while thinking over the soba was in order.
This was done with a batter made of chilled soda water, 2/3 cup AP flour, and 1/3 cup of cornstarch. A trick I use to keep the batter cold is to put a few ice cubes in the batter. Deep fried mushrooms are an old favorite of mine so I did those along with shrimp and sweet onion rings. I made a dipping sauce of soy, chiles, green onion, mirin, and sesame oil. Delicious.
Now that I had gotten my fix of mushrooms, I wanted to try out the rest of the challenge. This time I pulled together the buckwheat soba noodles along with more tempura, ahi poke, and wakame salad.
This time I put together the boiled and then rinsed and chilled soba noodles with a simple dipping sauce. The sauce was made from bonito dashi stock, soy, and mirin. Instead of dipping I basically dressed the cold noodles. As simple as this sounds, it was really good and I will do this again for quick snacks.
To go along with this simple noodle bowl, I wanted to keep clean and fresh flavors that would compliment the salad. Spicy Ahi poke salad is a simple and delicious preparation of raw ahi that will impress any fan of sushi. Take good quality fresh Ahi, cut into cubes, and dress with some soy, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, green onion, and a bit of chile garlic sauce for heat. I also tossed in some chopped up bits of wakame. You could also use small pieces of nori.
The whole meal was rounded out with some wakame (seaweed salad) that I got from my favorite Asian grocer and zucchini and green bean tempura for a little crunch.
Not a bad Japanese meal considering it was prepared by an Illinois born and Alaska raised bachelor.
Be sure to check out the other Daring Cooks posts.