Friday, February 25, 2011

Soba with Teriyaki and Brussel Sprouts

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Well, I haven't not been cooking so much as I don't seem to have time to post.  I've got so many photographs of food, but I don't seem to be able to get them up!  Senior year seems to be quite a lot of work, indeed.  But enough of that...

I actually had chicken thawed out in the fridge, but at the last minute I decided to go against it and have something a little lighter because I wasn't quite as hungry.  I failed at that, though, because this turned out to be quite filling.  The soba, or Japanese buckwheat noodles, are served in a savory soup and topped with sliced tofu puff, scallions, and a pinch of bonito flakes.  For those unacquainted, bonito flakes are very thin shavings of dried skipjack tuna.  They're kind of pricey, but you usually only need just a pinch since they have a strong flavor.  The blurry stuff in the back is steamed brussel sprouts with teriyaki shiitake and chikuwa, or tube-shaped fish cake.  I've had these brussel sprouts in the fridge for a while and they were about to go bad, so I used them up.  Surprisingly, none of this is very "heavy" tasting, so if you've eaten a really bad, fatty lunch (like someone I know.... me), you won't feel sick afterwards, and it's very healthy.

Soba with Teriyaki and Brussel Sprouts


for soba and soup:
3.5 oz. dried soba noodles
1 1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. dashi granules
1 tsp. sake
1 tsp. mirin
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 scallion
1 tofu puff
pinch bonito flakes (optional)

for teriyaki and brussel sprouts:
1 chikuwa (tube-shaped fish cake)
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted
6 brussel sprouts, trimmed
1 Tbsp. sake
1 Tbsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
5 snow peas, trimmed
sesame seeds (optional)

Cook the soba noodles according to package directions, then drain, rinse with cold water to remove the starches, then drain again. 

Line a bamboo steamer with parchment paper (or just use a metal steamer basket in a pot with a lid), place the brussel sprouts inside, and place over a pan of water.  Bring the water to a boil and steam the sprouts until they are bright green and cooked through.  Remove the steamer from the pan, take off the lid to release the excess steam, and drain the water from the pan.  Reserve the pan.  Cut the brussel sprouts in half top to bottom.

Bring the measured water for the soup to a boil, then add the dashi granules, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.  Stir to dissolve the dashi.

Cut the shiitake mushrooms into 1/2 in. strips, and the chikuwa into 1/2 in. pieces on the diagonal.  Mix the sake, mirin, and soy sauce.  Reheat pan you used to steam the brussel sprouts and add the mushrooms, chikuwa, and sauce mixture.  The sauce should start to froth.  Cook until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, then remove from heat.

Cut the tofu puff into thin slices, and chop the scallion into small pieces on the diagonal.

To serve, put the soba in a bowl and pour over with soup.  Garnish with tofu puff slices, scallion, and bonito flakes.  Gently mix the shiitake, chikuwa, and brussel sprouts together in another bowl.  Garnish with snow peas and sesame seeds.

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