Thursday, June 25, 2009

Japanese Cold Noodles

During those hot steamy Japanese summers, people naturally lose their appetites and the entire nation ends up eating lots of cold noodles. There are many different types of noodles all eaten with Dashijyoyu (soy sauce with fish broth), and these are most typically consumed with chopped scallions, Wasabi, Shichimi (Japanese 7 spice) or grated ginger.

I tried to find Soba here but the only one I could find was made in China and when I looked at the ingredients it said 100% wheat flour so I put it back. Even the lowest grade Soba should at least contain some buckwheat flour and a good one should be made from 100% buckwheat flour or close to it. I didn't feel like eating some artificially colored noodles made to look like buckwheat.

I did have some mung bean vermicelli noodles lying around so I just had these with some Dashijyoyu and freshly grated ginger. I also sprinkled it with my own mixture of 3 spice (chili, sesame seeds and sichuan peppercorns) and some thinly slice leeks. It tasted good enough and I guess I'll be having this and some other types of non-Japanese noodles until I run out of my Dashijyoyu.

Note 1: My favorite brand is Kamada. This brand is now available in the US and Canada.

Note 2: It's not customary to eat mung bean vermicelli noodles like this but well, I was desperate!


Elra said...

Sounds really good for summer. I am just the opposite, I tend to eat a lot more in summer.

taste traveller said...

I can't find 100% buckwheat either but I've started buying Hakubaku, organic soba made in Austrailia(?) I'll still try them cold, even though Germany itself is cold... ;-)

Natashya said...

Mmm, I love cold noodle dishes. I love the sound of your spice mix too, is it equal parts of each?

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Elra: Yes, it's different for everyone. :)

Taste Traveller: Hakubaku make theirs with 'Organic Wheat Flour 69%, Organic Buckwheat Flour 29%, Salt 2%, Water' - but if made properly the lower buckwheat content shouldn't be a problem. So long as they have the right texture when you slurp them up it's all good! :P

Natashya: I'd try doing it in equal parts and then make adjustments depending on your tolerance for chili hotness and Sichuan peppercorn numbness. ;)

Dorte said...

Very informative ... did not know about the buckwheat ... I am going to Cph for some days soon and will check the labels on the Soba noodles there just for fun!
I prefer a tamari soya and I usually buy it in DK. I don't know if it is considered to be especially good or bad, but I especially like the taste of this one.
Scallions are very hard to find around here - I don't know why.
To add freshly grated ginger on the noodles sounds delicious - I will remember this :-)

♥peachkins♥ said...

I have never eaten Japanese cold noodles but it looks really good. This is something that I will have to make for myself because not everyone in my family loves trying out new dishes..

Trish said...

Hey...I just checked back here tonight and realized that I never left a comment earlier. See...I read your post and then read the comments and I ended up on the kamada website and finding recipes and on and on...grin. Thanks for the tips!!!!!!!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Dorte: Scallions are difficult to find and horribly expensive compared to the other stuff so I've just been using leeks in everything. So long as you think the taste of your soy sauce is pleasing, that's what matters. Doesn't matter what other people say.

Peachkins: Yeah there are somethings I eat alone too for lunch when Ronny's not around!

Trish: Kamada soy sauce with broth really will make it easier for you to get that authentic Japanese taste. You can use their soy sauce + dashi in any recipe that requires these. They've told me I have to order my supplies from Japan They don't have a branch in Europe. :(

Ilva said...

You made me crave this now! and it is a great photo!

Marta said...

I guess I'll know all about hot-sticky Japanese summers very soon! Is it still very warm in September? I'm going the last week of August and first two of September. I have a pseudo-itinerary ready, it still needs some refining. Once it's done, I'd love to send it to you to hear your thoughts and make sure I'm not missing anything crucial!
This recipes sounds indeed perfect for the low-appetite summer evenings!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Ilva: Thanks :)

Marta: Those are the hottest stickiest be prepared. :P

Lori said...

I love soba noodles.So funny that they try to make the whole wheat ones look like soba. In my mind, without buckwheat, it just isnt soba.

foodcreate said...

Yumm! I love japanese cold Noodles I had some when I was in south beach a couple weeks ago Delicious!

Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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Have wonderful Sunny Monday!

Karine said...

I love japanese cold noodles! They are really great and I find it easy to make salad with them!