Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cold noodles, anyone?

My roomie has introduced me to the simple and delicious joys of Japanese home cooking. This past winter we warmed up our cold hungry tummies with hot-pot and soups. But on this July day, Mimi-san made us some cold noodles for dinner. I must admit I had my doubts at first - cold noodles did not sound very appetizing - but they turned out to be light and refreshing. Served alongside a variety of cold meat and pickled veggies, they make the perfect, no-fuss summer meal.

Use soba (brown or white) - prepare according to package directions, then plunge into ice water.

Mince some peeled ginger and green onions very finely. Also slice up some cold roast pork - we used Chinese barbecued pork that Mimi's mom made last weekend.

Set out pickled eggplant and garlic in small serving bowls. (I love garlic pickled in red miso - although unsuspecting people will doubtless be aghast to see me popping the whole cloves. Not to worry - pickling makes garlic sweet, crisp and nutty. No garlic breath afterwards, either.)

Also a note about the pickled eggplant - if you go looking for them in a Japanese store, you'll find that they are small, round and blue. Don't ask me what makes them blue. I just know they look weird but taste great.

Grab some dried seaweed and hydrate in a cup of water, then splash on some citrus or basil-infused soy sauce.

The noodles are served in a bowl with a sauce made of soy sauce, broth, and mirin. (We used a pre-made sauce that comes in a bottle. It's like a syrup that needs to be diluted with water.) Throw on some of the minced ginger and onion and stir it all up with your chopsticks.



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