Sunday, April 23, 2006

Kake-soba

I’m not trying to turn this into a cooking blog, but here’s an extremely easy recipe I’ve learned (even easier than the Japanese country power breakfast or plain miso soup). First, go here to read the basic recipe and list of instructions for the hot soba noodles only – I haven’t attempted zaru-soba (cold noodles) yet – but don’t start until you’ve read my notes following this. I think I’ve managed to turn a good recipe into a great one (actually two).

Notes:
1. Don’t let the description of soba noodles as a health food throw you. I only eat tasty foods. If they manage to be delicious AND healthy then so be it, but I don’t sacrifice taste for any reason short of getting laid. And I don’t mean that in a long-term, delayed gratification sense. If you want me to eat anything I don’t like, you’d better strip naked and start making with the head.
2. I don’t care if you’re a guy. I’m generally opposed to double standards.
3. The recipe is tasty and easy, but it’s way more than one serving. It yields something closer to three servings, and that’s as the main entrée for a big, dumb redneck. If you’re a tiny Asian woman, I love you and want you to marry me. I mean, if you’re small or having this as part of a larger meal, this can easily be stretched into four meals. Soba noodles are very good, but they don’t absorb much soup after they’ve been cooked. Still, don’t try to cut the recipe into fourths, or a) you’ll be using half of a scallion and a quarter of a third of a cup of soup base, and b) you’ll miss out on the second recipe.
4. The first time I tried it, I used a bunch of mustard greens since I couldn’t find fresh spinach. It wasn’t very good. The next time, I still couldn’t find a bundle of spinach so I substituted baby spinach instead. I like baby spinach better anyway, and it keeps me from having to cut up the bunch. Just remember to pinch the stems off, unless you like them whole and raw as well.
5. I don’t like cooked spinach at all – it looks too much like pond scum to suit my tastes. If you prefer raw spinach, I suggest adding it to the mixture fresh after everything else has cooked.
6. Final note on the portions – use the full amount of water, soup base, and scallions, but only a third to a half of a bundle of soba noodles (for one serving). You can eyeball the amount of fresh baby spinach you’ll need, but one small handful should do the trick.

Recipe #2
This is a completely original recipe I invented after I made the soba noodle recipe and had a lot of soup left over. I’ve made it a couple of times since then, and I’ve experimented and refined it along the way to the point where I think it’s even better than the original recipe. For this, you’ll need the leftover soup from above, a single serving of rice (this is a great way to reconstitute leftover rice), and a single (not serving, only one) shu mai (dumpling) or gyoza (potsticker). I buy those frozen instead of making my own. Any type will work, although crab might not be the best for the mix. Personally, I recommend the vegetable shu mai. On its own, it’s fine. Added to the base, the cabbage and other vegetables really add to the overall flavor.

Directions
1. Store the leftover soup in a separate container. Do not combine with the rice until you are ready to reheat.
2. Combine the rice, a single serving of soup, and the shu mai or gyoza in a small saucepan. I don’t recommend reheating in the microwave. It’s okay if the shu mai or gyoza is still frozen.
3. Heat over low-medium heat until warm, stirring occasionally. The shu mai or gyoza will probably break up in the soup, but that’s a good thing.

And, you’re done. Told you it was easy. You can also top this with a little shichimi togarashi, but I like it best as is.

Final note – I’ve found the best way to make rice is by using a rice cooker, but however you do it you can make extra and store it in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Most experts call for you to freeze it, but it will keep in the fridge for at least a week. When reheating in the microwave, place a tiny (no more than a teaspoon) amount of water in the bottom of the container. The microwave will turn the water into steam, thus steaming your rice back to life instead of drying it and turning it crunchy.

In case you’re worried that I’m getting a little soft in my blog, then FECK! ARSE! DRINK! GIRLS! Feck off now.

Feck off, out.

10 comments:

poody said...

I bet this is good. I am going to try it and pass it on to my friend Kaylee who is a vegetarian. I lived in Hawaii for a while and there is of course a large Asian population there. You are so right about a rice steamer. I love them. One of my favorite dishes over there was actually a Philopino dish called Moco Loco which in Spanish is crazy booger but in Philipino it must mean something else. Anyway,it is a breakfast dish. One scoop of white rice, top with a fried egg witha runny yellow topped with a hamburger patty, and brown gravy poured all over the whole thing. It is good. :)You should move ther Grant it is all about your tiny Asian women

fatty ~ said...

i'd say you're getting soft...

but theres nothing wrong with an appetite for good food.

Tracy Lynn said...

Yeah, you're a sissy. But at least you're eating well....

mal said...

sacrifice good taste to get laid? I am soooooo disappointed. I thought you had standards *G*

hellbunny said...

is this a prelude to Grant's new book of Asian cooking recipes?

VomitGod said...

Are you training for a hot dog eating contest?

patti_cake said...

Hey I have no problem learning new, healthy recipes. I might get brave and try one on the man.

Grant said...

poody - that reminds me of my favorite Cuban restaurant - Coco Loco.

fatty - it's much better than an appetite for bad food. Now I don't see how people can eat at McDonalds.

tracy lynn - I promise I'll get back to the killin's and devil worship soon.

mallory - I do have standards. They're 1) get laid at any cost, 2) eat good food, and 3) the rest is negotiable.

hellbunny - I wonder if anybody would buy "The dumb redneck's guide to them thar Japanese people"? Especially since most of my recipes come from somewhere else.

vomitgod - feck your disgusting Western food. But count me in for a tofu eating contest. :p

patti_cake - if he's not into Japanese food, this is good to start with. It's less fishy than anything else they make.

annush said...

should i start calling you Mr. Childs or Mr. Crocker?

Grant said...

annush - Mr. NBD will do fine. :)