Wow, has it really been that long since we’ve posted!?! I’m sorry that I’ve been so out of touch here. Between residency placement, school, worldwide travel, and on my end, the much more mundane 8-5 and remodeling of our new house in every spare moment, I know we’ve all been crazy. So, creative cookery hasn’t quite been at the top of my list.
Nevertheless, I miss you all and wanted to reinvigorate the blog again, so I figured I’d post on last night’s slapdash meal of Soba Noodles with a variant on my ubiquitous tahini dressing. There’s something about it that I can’t get enough of, and it’s eternally modifiable for Asian, Middle Eastern, or “hippy” flavored dishes. It’s all eyeball measurements, so please taste the dressing (which is the key to this meal) as you go for optimal flavor. And if you haven’t ever had ichimi tagarachi, or shichimi tagarachi, you should. The former is simply Japanese chili flakes, and the latter has orange peel, sesame seeds, and other goodies mixed in. They’re great to have around for noodle bowls or grilled veggies, etc. Same thing with furikake–there are dozens of varieties of this Japanese condiment, but my favorite has nori, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar.
Soba Noodles with Tahini Miso Ginger Sauce
- two bundles of buckwheat soba noodles
- 1/4 C. fresh tahini
- 2 Tb. red miso paste
- 1/4 C. rice vinegar
- 1 Tb. finely grated ginger
- dash of mirin or pinch of sugar
- warm water, to taste
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- dash of soy
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and bite-sized pieces
- two large handfuls of spinach or mixed greens
- optional: cilantro, ichimi tagarashi (Japanese chili pepper), furikake (Japanese sesame seed condiment)
Bring a salted pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, put the tahini, miso paste, and vinegar in a jar and shake vigorously till combined. Add in warm water, a tablespoon at a time, and shake, combining until the consistency is a thick paste. Add in the sesame oil, ginger, the mirin or sugar, and the soy, and shake again till combined. Taste and add vinegar or water, to taste, until the sauce is of pourable consistency, and set aside.
Add the soba noodles to the boiling water and set a timer for 6 minutes. When 3 minutes remain, add the carrots and broccoli to the water with the noodles. At 6 minutes, taste the noodles for doneness and when cooked, take off the heat. Add the spinach or greens to your colander and drain the noodles and veggies over them to wilt the greens. Toss the noodles and veggies with the tahini sauce and serve warm.
Garnish at the table with cilantro and any of the Japanese condiments.