понедељак, 14. фебруар 2011.

The Daring Cooks February 2011 Challenge: Cold Soba Salad & Tempura

The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com

Let`s see what Lisa has to say about these pearls of Japanese cuisine:
Soba is a type of thin Japanese noodle made from buckwheat flour. It is served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. It takes three months for buckwheat to be ready for harvest, so it can be harvested four times a year, mainly in spring, summer, and autumn.

Hiyashi Soba is a popular dish in summer. It's like a noodle salad. Restaurants in Japan serve Hiyashi Soba only in summer. Even if you don't have much appetite because of the heat, Hiyashi Soba can be appetizing. Common Hiyashi Soba toppings are omelet strips, ham, cucumber and grated Daikon. You can also have the noodles just with the dipping sauce.

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. A light batter is made of cold water (sometimes sparkling water is used to keep the batter light and soft wheat flour (cake, pastry or all-purpose flour). Eggs, baking soda or baking powder, starch, oil, and/or spices may also be added
I decided to make my own version of soba noodles for two reasons-first, I like homemade noodles and second-soba noodles are very expensive in Serbia. I did a bit of research and found lots of interesting sites about soba making (try this one). Finally, I found my own version of, let`s say, buckwheat rather than soba noodles, in preparing of which I used pasta machine.

Here`s what you need:
  • 400g buckwheat flour
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 240ml of very cold water
The important thing is that the buckwheat-all purpose flour ratio is 80:20.

Mix the flours in a bowl and add water. Knead for at least 10 minutes, until you get very soft dough. Use pasta machine to form long noodles:

Cooking the noodles (slightly adapted Lisa`s directions):

Heat water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the noodles a small bundle at a time, stirring gently to separate. When the water returns to a full boil, add 1 cup of cold water. Repeat this twice. You want to cook noodles until they are firm-tender. Do not overcook them.

Drain the noodles and rinse well under cold running water until the noodles are cool.  Once the noodles are cool, drain them and cover them with a damp kitchen towel and set them aside allowing them to cool completely.

Cold buckwheat noodle salad

You need:
  • egg
  • leek
  • spring onions
  • tamari sauce
Beat an egg in a bowl and fry it. After it`s fried, cut it into stripes.
Cut the leek and fry it for 5 minutes.
While waiting for egg and leek to cold, cut spring onions.
Mix vegetables and egg with prepared noodles and sprinkle with tamari sauce.

Since this was my first time to make tempura, I chose to trust Lisa and see what`s going to happen.

1 egg yolk from a large egg

1 cup iced water

½ cup  plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dredging

½ cup cornflour (also called cornstarch)

½ teaspoon  baking powder

oil, for deep frying preferably vegetable

ice water bath, for the tempura batter (a larger bowl than what will be used for the tempura should be used. Fill the large bowl with ice and some water, set aside

Place the iced water into a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg yolk and gradually pour into the iced water, stirring (preferably with chopsticks) and blending well. Add flours and baking powder all at once, stroke a few times with chopsticks until the ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be runny and lumpy. Place the bowl of batter in an ice water bath to keep it cold while you are frying the tempura. The batter as well as the vegetables and seafood have to be very cold. The temperature shock between the hot oil and the cold veggies help create a crispy tempura.
Now, for the record-I used only one kind of vegetables-onions. Yes, I made onion ring tempura!
Let` continue with directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan or a wok. For vegetables, the oil should be 160°C; . It is more difficult to maintain a steady temperature and produce consistent tempura if you don’t have a thermometer, but it can be done. You can test the oil by dropping a piece of batter into the hot oil. If it sinks a little bit and then immediately rises to the top, the oil is ready.
Dip the onions in a shallow bowl of flour to lightly coat them and then dip them into the batter. Slide them into the hot oil, deep frying only a couple of pieces at a time so that the temperature of the oil does not drop.
Place finished tempura pieces on a wire rack so that excess oil can drip off. Continue frying the other items, frequently scooping out any bits of batter to keep the oil clean and prevent the oil (and the remaining tempura) from getting a burned flavor.

Serve immediately for the best flavor! And so I did! Yummy!

1 коментар:

  1. What lovely soba noddles you made I'm impressed and your tempura looks so crispy well done and I really like the photos excellent work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.