Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer is here...Our Traditional Donabe Cold Noodles

Summer is here, so we've been enjoying eating summer dishes in our patio lately.

One of our summer tradition is simple somen noodles, served in our tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san". Because the porous clay of Iga has the amazing insulation ability, this donabe works like a mini fridge. The insulation ability enhances if you fill water in the lid and drain before using it. Then, put ice cubes inside.

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Instead of somen noodles (extra-thin wheat noodles), we did udon this time. I got a very nice handmade dry udon from Tokushima, Japan. Once the noodles are boiled, drained, and rinsed in cold water, they were put on a bed of ice cubes in Fukkura-san. We set up our lunch at the patio table. I also made wakame seaweed tamago-yaki (rolled omelet) as a side dish for the noodles.

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Noodles were kept refreshingly cold in Fukkura-san. Condiments were...cooked cold shirasu (baby fish), scallion, shiso leaves with ginger, grated daikon, shredded nori (roasted seaweed), ground roasted sesame seeds, and shichmi peppers.

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My happy cold donabe moment.

Here's the recipe for my quick cold dipping sauce for noodles.

Dipping sauce for cold noodles

Ingredients: (makes about 1 1/4 cups or 300 ml)
1C (240 ml) dashi stock
1 tablespoon mirin
1 1/2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark color soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons light color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu")

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and set over medium heat. As soon as it starts boiling, turn off the heat. Chill.

Happy donabe life.