Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soba Noodles with Mentsuyu

At the moment I can't think of a better lunch than cold soba noodles with dipping sauce.

Whereas I devoured fantastic
handmade noodles in New York (Soba Nippon - where Michael Jackson has eaten, Inakaya, Sobaya) I haven't come across a soba noodle bar in Berlin yet (the city is just flooded with sushi bars) but I should search more thoroughly.

Until then I will settle for this self-made dish with store-bought noodles. Nice side-effect is that one bowl of bliss does not cost 20 bucks.

With a prepared dipping sauce (
mentsuyu) lunch will be ready in 10 minutes.
It is light, fat free and you will
not be lulled after the meal.

As to the mentsuyu recipe I have seen various suggestions online as well as in my cookbook but it is always a mixture of
kaeshi (soy sauce + mirin + sugar) and dashi.


1) For the
kaeshi bring

4 tbsp hon
mirin to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer a little, add
5 tbsp
sugar and let it melt, then add
250 ml
soy sauce and let it simmer.

2) In another pan prepare 250 ml of
dashi stock eather by bringing 250 ml water with

a small piece of
konbu and 1 tbsp bonito flakes OR
2 tsp
dashi granules

to boil for a couple of minutes. Strain the dashi if made with konbu and bonito flakes.

3) Pour the kaeshi to the dashi stock and let it boil for a further couple of minutes. After cooling down you can store the remaining mentsuyu in the fridge - it should make up for about 8 servings in total.

II. Cook the soba noodles until just soft. Then drain and wash it in cold water.

III. Meanwhile prepare the
toppings that are on hand. Everything should be sliced as thinly as possible.

- spring onions
- nori shreads
- daikon radish
- spinach leaves
- carrots
- shiso leaves

Or any veggies that happen to be in your fridge (as shown in the picture). I also like to add either roasted
tofu flakes or omelette slices for the protein factor. But I cannot guarantee if these proceedings will be approved by a Japanese :)

IV. As to the
groceries: all ingredients can be found in the Asian store.

Unfortunately in the two Asian stores in Berlin Mitte my favorite
Japanese brand (see pic in the middle of another Japanese brand) for noodles seems to have disappeared and the only one available (last pic) were made in China.

This is annoying as I would only use Japanese products for a Japanese dish, Korean products for a Korean dish and Chinese products for a Chinese dish (isn't that too logical? :) ).

The thing is that Korean and Chinese buckwheat noodles
contain more wheat flour than buckwheat flour. And the purest quality is desired here. I also found out that one Chinese brand contained 50g less than as it was declared on the package.
So keep an eye on the ingredients' list!

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