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, …
Even more exciting than this recipe is the shopping we have been doing lately. Usually shopping is a hopeless chore that must be done! But after twenty-seven years in the same shack house, the new-house bug has bitten!! We’ve been driving by houses for sale, peering into windows, touring houses online, and finally actually getting a real estate agent to show us some houses. It’s depressing how little house you can get for such a lot of money! Oh so tiny, so full of “quirks” and problems, smells, bad roofs, closet-sized bedrooms, horrible kitchens, steep narrow stairs…
|Will this be my new kitchen??
||Oh, but this house, we’ll be bidding on this house: it has my kitchen in it! The eat-in kitchen includes a fireplace, and it opens into a bright sunroom. There’s a double stainless sink with high faucet, dishwasher, granite counters, new cabinets. There is a formal dining room, which opens into a large livingroom with another fireplace. Double wall ovens, large gas range, huge fridge. I hope I’m not jinxing this by talking about it…
Chilled Chukasoba with Spicy Sesame Sauce
Hiyashi Chukasoba Mushidori to Gomadare
The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
Toppings – Chicken:
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons salt
Bring a quart of water to a boil, and add the chicken breast, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the salt, and let the chicken steep in its cooking liquid for half an hour. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid, plunge it into ice water, and let it stand for 10 minutes. Drain, and wipe the chicken with paper towels. Shred into 3″ lengths.
Toppings – Vegetables:
- 2 Japanese cucumbers
- 2 medium tomatoes
Julienne the cucumbers. Salt lightly and let sit for a few minutes. Squeeze out water. Cut the tomatoes into strips—the skin and meat next to it can be cut into strips. The inner part, forget it; just make it chopstick sized. Grind some black pepper over the tomatoes.
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons toban jiang (chile-bean sauce)
- In a skillet, heat the sesame oil then add the toban jiang. Cook until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a mini-food processor. (or you can mix by hand with a bowl and whisk)
- ¼ cup sesame paste, preferably Japanese (be generous)
- ¼ cup hot brewed plain black tea
- 2 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon komezu (rice vinegar)
- 3 Tablespoons chopped scallion, white part only
Add the sesame paste to the food-processor, and blend until smooth. Add the hot tea, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring or blending until smooth. Add the soy sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar and green onions and mix until smooth. Reserve.
- 13 ounces dried chukasoba noodles
- a large pot of boiling water
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Test for doneness by removing one noodle and biting it. Drain in a colander, and rinse the noodles under cold running water. Drain well again. Toss with sesame oil. Note that the ramen noodles are not the same as “instant” noodles. Chukasoba means Chinese noodles, also called ramen.
Divide the noodles among 4 individual bowls. Add some of the sauce, and toss. Decorate each serving with the chicken, cucumber, and tomato. Top with the more sauce if you like, and serve.