Jack: I haven’t asked you to dine with me anywhere to-night.
||Algernon: I know. You are absurdly careless about sending out invitations. It is very foolish of you. Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations.
— Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Novel for Serious People) ~~ quote begins @ 10:22
Link to all 11 episodes of the 1985 TV movie.
||I seriously enjoyed one trip to the cottage up North while listening to a book-on-tape reading of Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest. The five hours of the car ride flew by with witty repartee, and incisive comments on the foibles of human nature. Mr. Tess doesn’t remember that trip, but he found a video of the play (anthony asquith) from the library. Fun evening! and good food—he did remember a similar meal I’d made!
‘If one cannot enjoy a recipe over and over again, there is no use in reading recipes at all.’
— misquote from Oscar Wilde
I wanted noodles. Hot and spicy noodles. Fast.
The answer: something like the spicy pork and udon noodles I made last December called Ja-Ja-Men Udon.
|Jajamen is a recipe which came to Japan from China through Morioka city, the center of Iwate Prefecture. Morioka is famous for three major meins(麺(noodle dishes): wanko soba, Morioka reimen and Morioka jajamen: fat hot udon noodles with minced cucumber, leek and special miso.
Diners add vinegar, chili oil and garlic as they like. After eating, raw egg and reserved udon water are added with several seasonings. This is called Chiitan. (scroll down to see the pictures)
This recipe is quick and simple to make, and though it is very spicy, it reminds me of the subtle elegance of pork and miso ramen. This weekend will be cold and rainy and I hope to have a big pot of bones boiling toward the mystical perfect ramen stock.
- 3 Tablespoons sake
3 Tablespoons aka miso (red miso)
1 Tablespoon sugar (original recipe calls for 2 Tbs.)
2 Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons tobanjan (Japanese chili paste)
5 Tablespoons mirin
½ cup dashi
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 scallions, green and white parts separated
8 ounces ground pork
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- Noodles + Toppings
- 1 pound dry udon noodles
1 cucumber, diced roughly
rice vinegar, LaYu chili oil, and grated garlic and ginger
- reserved noodle water (hot)
Combine the sake, miso, tahini, soy sauce, tobanjan, mirin, and dashi in a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the cornstarch and water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden 1 minute.
Add the pork and minced green scallion. Use a wooden spatula to combine these ingredients with the garlic and ginger. Cook until the pork is done. Add the sesame oil and decrease the heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly to combine well.
Add the sake and miso mixture, and stir well. Remove from the heat.
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook, following the package instructions. Drain well.
Divide the noodles among 4 plates. Top with the meat sauce. Sprinkle with sliced white scallion rings and cucumber. Diners can add rice vinegar, LaYu chili oil, and grated garlic and ginger as they like.
When most of the noodles have been eaten, add some boiling hot noodle water to the bowl and stir in the egg.
Morioka Jajamen (盛岡じゃじゃ麺) – Chinese Style noodles with miso.
I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.”
— Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
“Jack: Actually, I was found.
Lady Bracknell: Found?
Jack: Uh, yes, I was in… a handbag.
Lady Bracknell: A handbag?
Jack: Yes, it was…
Jack: an ordinary handbag.”
— Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Novel for Serious People)