Spicy Sesame Noodles

Snow is falling almost invisibly, like drizzle, yet suddenly I notice the snow is becoming thick on the grass. The mild spice in this Japanese noodle dish is like that: you aren’t conscious of its heat until you realize you are warm from the inside out. While this recipe is usually eaten in the summer because it is served cold or at room temperature, the pepper makes you forget about the chill.

Stay Cool with Summer Ramen

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Every summer, I look forward to preparing this recipe of chilly noodles in a sweet-sour-salty sauce, topped with colorful seasonal vegetables and meats (or tofu). Summer brings such a variety of colors, textures, and flavors that one could eat this everyday without repeating the combination. It’s all a pretty party in your bowl! It’s easy-on-the-cook party-food, too: guests can choose their favorite fresh vegetables.

(Japanese) Pan-Fried Chicken, Part 3

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A delicious dinner calls for an encore! This chicken, marinated in a traditional Japapanese combination of sesame and soy has a sweet and spicy spark of honey and pepper. As inspiring as the flavors of this dish are, it also proves to be a recipe which allows for much diversity: no one wants to eat the same meal day after day!
Use the chicken to make sandwiches or to top a crisp summer salad. Even better: make sesame noodles topped with chicken, sweet red pepper, and green sugar snap peas.

Japanese (Pan-Fried) Chicken, Part 1

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Honey and pepper, sweet and spice, sparks the traditional combination of soy and sesame in a marinade for chicken. As inspiring as the flavors of this dish are, it also proves to be a recipe which allows for much diversity. It’s an easy recipe, and what a good thing that turned out to be: life does not happen according to plan.
Sometimes it turns out better than one could expect…

Miso Ramen: a night for a fire

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The romance of a fire on a cold night is a perfect setting for a bowl of hot ramen. All three cats made a rare joint appearance to watch what skill Tess and J. exhibited by slurping noodles while sitting on the floor!
Home-made stock is key to an exceptionable bowl of ramen; it’s a delightful surprise to turn up a container of the broth from the deep back of your freezer—one of the many nice discoveries made as we slowly move house.

Noodles and Japanese Shells

Noodles—quick convenient comfort, ease and pleas-ing, satisfaction certain, and fine when cooking for me. While Mr. Tess was working in New York during the past two weeks, my meals centered on this flour and water paste: a blank canvas each time, with a palette of possibilities. Here is a selection of options to stimulate your imagination—the small pictures link to recipes which I’ve written about in the last year or so. And finally a tuna salad with echoes of Japanese flavors.

Chukasoba with Stir Fried Flowers and Scallops

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Japanese food is supposed to be a feast for the eye, but my skill at fruit and vegetable carving is limited. I saw a YouTube video about how to cut beautiful cupped flowers which looked easy. I had the fattest carrots I could find (from the video, Japanese carrots look very thick) and some slender zucchini for my victims. Peel the carrot, then mark 5 lines down its length. Make two cuts for each petal to remove a ‘v’ shaped shred. The idea is that you want a flower shape on each end. OK. Trim one end like a blunt pencil. Cut, or shave around all five petals, and continue to a sixth. Remove your first flower.
Well, I’m not putting the video up: this is not something to try at home! You notice my flowers are flat—a homey touch, those irregularities.

Spicy Creamy Sesame Sauce on Ramen

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Hiyashi chukasoba mushidori to gomadare: these cold summer noodles are dressed with a lovely creamy sesame sauce. The heat builds up as you eat, but is not overwhelming. Top with seasonal vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, bean sprouts, summer squash, chard, snow peas, okra, and so on. Even corn! The recipe includes a nice way to cook chicken so it remains juicy. But you can use tofu, ham, meatballs, hard boiled eggs, shrimp, …

Summer Ramen: Hiyashi Chuka Soba

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Lucky lovely noodles, ramen the way I imagined they should be, (made by me, or you, with this recipe), and it’s summer, lovely and cool. Still. So I’ll share a meal with you, a dish to enjoy in warm weather: hyashi chuka soba. It’s exotic but so familiar in a sweet-sour-round broth, cool noodles topped with your favorite foods. Enjoy.

Homemade Ramen Noodles!

J. and I went in search of a mysterious elixir last weekend to make perfect ramen noodles. Yes indeed, one can make ramen noodles at home with this magic potion: Koon Chun potassium carbonate! They have a lovely chewiness that holds up to the ramen broth without becoming soggy before you finish your bowl. Enjoy this recipe; I’ve been looking for a way to make ramen noodles for years!

Perfect Ramen Noodles

http://1tess.wordpress.comThe right noodles are a necessary element of a perfect bowl of ramen. The noodles are thin, like some Italian pasta (that word is a latinization of the Greek παστά) especially vermicelli or capellini. But ramen noodles are not the same. They are chewy, springy, and crinkly. They are often wrinkled into a 2 serving brick which makes a convenient way to prepare the right amount of noodles. The crinkles are also fun to look at and eat.