Friday, October 23, 2009

Serving up Soba

Soba noodles never quite caught my attention until I first tried my hand at cooking Japanese dishes. That's likely in part due to their resemblence to spaghetti that we've grown up with here in the states.

Ahh but despite appearences, the similarities stop there.

Like with any noodle you'll want to bring a pot of water to a boil.
Drop a bundle of the noodle into the ot and stir right away.
Decrease heat and simmer for no more than five minutes.

Now if you are in Japan, aquiring a zaru is no problem. Luckily, I live near Little Tokyo so I can find these things. But if you live out somewhere like my parents do in a state with no Japanese community then your on line stores can provide you with one.

So that the hell is a zaru anyway? A zaru is actually a bamboo mat used for draining noodles much like a colander and it's also used for serving as you'll see in my final photo.

You don't need a zaru to cook soba but it sure looks traditional if you do!

So now that you have your soba ready drain it with a colander or a zaru with cold water.
Rinse and drain completely before you serve! I can't emphasize that one enough. I once neglected to rinse thoroughly the first time I tried to make soba and thought I got a bad batch. Nope! That's why it's good to read the instructions!

Now that I've got your atten well continue on!

Presentation is always part of the game.

But it's not just presentation. It's ultimately about taste.
Here's what I reccomend servinv soba with:
  1. Thinly diced green onions.
  2. Thinly sliced nori (seaweed)
  3. Wakame - Dried Seaweed.

Combine all these elements together on top of your zaru or favorite serving plate with a shot or two of Ponzu Sauce and you are ready for a quick and easy Japanese meal that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

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