Japanese Soba Noodles in Sweet Soy Broth
By Periplus Editors, Healthy and Simple Asian Recipes
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
11/2 tablespoons dried wakame seaweed (see note)
10 oz (300 g) dried soba noodles
4 tablespoons thinly sliced leek
2 tablespoons Japanese pickled ginger (see note)
4 eggs (optional)
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, or to taste
1 cup (250 ml) mirin
5 teaspoons dashi soup stock powder dissolved in 4 cups (1 liter) water
1/2 cup (125 ml) soy sauce
Japanese seven-spice pepper powder (optional, see note)
1 Soak the seaweed in cold water for 5 minutes or until reconstituted. Drain and set aside.
2 Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse well in cold water to remove excess surface starch. Divide between 4 medium bowls.
3 Divide the reserved seaweed, leek and pickled ginger in equal portions between the 4 bowls, arrange on top of noodles and crack an egg carefully into the center of each bowl if desired.
4 Combine the sugar and mirin in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the dashi mixture and soy sauce, stir and bring to a boil. Pour immediately over the noodles and serve sprinkled with seven-spice pepper powder, if desired.
Wakame seaweed is sold dried in strips. Dried wakame is light brown and should be soaked in water before use. It is often added to soups, a few minutes before serving and has a crunchy texture. This calcium-rich seaweed may also be toasted and crumbled over soups and other dishes.
Japanese pickled ginger (also known as gari), is thinly sliced young ginger that has been pickled in sweet vinegar. Served with sushi and sashimi. Pickled older ginger (beni shoga), usually less sweet, is also available in jars or plastic packets from Asian food stores.
Japanese seven-spice pepper powder or shichimi togarashi generally includes a combination of black pepper, red chili pepper, sesame seeds, green nori seaweed flakes, dried orange peels, prickly ash pods and poppy seeds. It is sprinkled on noodles, one-pot meals and grilled items.