- Toppings can be just about anything:
- Combine foods of different colors and textures
- Shred or julienne the toppings. Blanch or parboil as appropriate.
- mung bean noodles
Soak the mung bean noodles in boiled water for 5 minutes. Drain and cool under running water. Cut into 6-inch lengths. (or follow package directions)
- soybean or mung bean sprouts
see my note extolling soybean sprouts!
- cucumber, julienned, salted for 10 mins. and drained
- cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- lettuce shredded
- chard, shredded & blanched
- carrot, julienned & parboiled
- fennel bulb
- bell peppers, grilled, skinned, cut into strips
- green beans, parboiled
- avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
- firm tofu
- cooked ham
- chicken breast
Summertime Chilled Chuka Soba
from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
- ¼ cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup ramen stock or chicken stock
- ⅓ cup shoyu (soy sauce)
- 2 ½ Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons ginger juice, to taste
In a saucepan, bring the mirin to a gentle simmer to evaporate the alcohol. Add sugar and ramen stock, and bring to a boil. Add the soy sauce and bring just to a boil. Transfer to a clean jar. Add the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger juice. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ Tablespoons vegetable oil (I used much less)
Stir the salt and sugar into the eggs. Note stirring with a chopstick works well because you don’t want to make the eggs frothy.
If you have a tamagoyaki-ki, a rectangular Japanese skillet, now is your chance to make use of it! Otherwise, use an 8-inch non-stick skillet or a well seasoned cast iron pan. Heat your skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, dip a wadded paper towel into a small dish of vegetable oil. Smear the bottom and sides of your skillet with the oil. Remove skillet from heat and spoon enough of the egg mixture to thinly coat the bottom of your pan. You may need to tilt the pan to cover the whole bottom. Return the skillet to the heat and cook the egg until it’s firm on the bottom. Lift the omelette and flip to cook the other side, about 3 seconds. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Make 8 thin omelettes. Cut the omelettes into 2-inch long julienne strips.
Toppings (from the original recipe)
- 3 cups soybean or mung bean sprouts
- 2 ounces mung bean noodles
- 1 small Japanese cucumber, julienned in 2 1/2-inch lengths
- 8 tomatoes, cut in half
- 10 slices chashu, julienned in 2-inch lengths
- 13 ounces dried chuasoba noodles
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles al dente, 3 to 5 minutes, or as instructed on the package. Drain and wash under cold running water. Drain and toss with the sesame oil.
- 2 Tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
- Hot mustard paste or smooth French-style mustard
Divide the noodles among four individual shallow bowls. Decorate the noodles with the vegetables and omelette strips. In the traditional presentation, the items are placed in mounds like the colorful spokes of a wheel. Pour some of the sauce over each dish, and garnish with some sesame seeds on top and a dab of mustard on the rim of the bowl.
(The way I actually served this meal was to arrange the vegetables and meat on a large plate, the noodles in a bowl, the garnishes on the side, and the sauce in a jar ready to pour over. We each served ourselves.)