Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Grated Mountain Yam & Yuzu-kosho for Cold Donabe Noodles

Just like every summer, I've been eating a lot of cold noodles for lunch this summer. Whether it's somen, udon, or hiyamugi noodles, I always use donabe as a serving vessel for the cold noodles.

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With ice and some water, authentic Iga-yaki donabe can keep the noodles very cold for a long time. It also makes a beautiful presentation. This time, I used medium-size classic-style donabe, "Yu Kizeto". I cooked hiyamugi noodles (slightly thicker than somen noodles) for Jason and served with condiments and dipping sauce. (You can find the recipe for cold dipping sauce in my previous blog post here.)

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The fun part about getting ready the cold noodle dish is to prepare the condiments. The favorite of this summer is using tons of grated mountain yam ("yama-imo") and yuzu-kosho and mix them lightly after topping them on the noodles in a dipping sauce. Other regular condiemts are, shredded ginger, sliced scallion, sliced shiso, torn nori seaweed, and roasted sesame seeds. Fantastic.

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As a side dish, I grilled some Japanese eggplants.

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And, served with simple sesame sauce, garnished with ground sesame seeds and shiso leaves. Here's my quick sesame sauce recipe.

Simple Sesame Sauce over grilled eggplant

Roast 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds until aromatic. In Japanese mortar and pestle ("suribachi and surikogi"), ground the sesame seeds until very fine. Add 2 teaspoons raw brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoons shio-koji (or 1/3 teaspoons sea salt), 2 tablespoons tahini paste, 1 1/2 tablespoons light color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu"), and 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar. Whisk together until smooth.

Pour over grilled eggplants (peeled and cut). Garnish with some ground sesame seeds and shiso leaves.

Happy donabe life.