Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Rec: Soba Noodles In Broth With Spinach And Shiitakes

1 ounce kombu seaweed
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
3/4 pound dried soba noodles
12 ounces spinach, stemmed and washed thoroughly,
or 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 to 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (to taste)

Place the kombu and shiitakes in a large bowl, and cover with
4 1/2 cups hot water. Soak for 30 minutes. Place a strainer
over a bowl and drain. Squeeze the mushrooms over the
strainer, then rinse. Remove the mushroom stems and discard.
Slice the caps thinly. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles. Bring
a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When
the water comes to a boil, add the soba. As the water comes
back to a boil, add 1/2 cup of cold water to prevent it from boiling
over. Allow to come back to a boil again, and add another 1/2 cup
of cold water. Check for doneness, and if necessary bring back to
a boil one more time and add another 1/2 cup of cold water. The
soba should be tender all the way through but al dente -- slightly
firm to the bite. Transfer immediately to the ice water, and
allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain. Bring the water back
to a boil, salt generously and add the spinach. Blanch for
minute, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain, squeeze out
excess liquid, and cut the squeezed bundle of spinach into four
pieces. Divide the noodles, spinach, mushrooms and green
onions among four large soup bowls. In a saucepan, combine
the soaking water from the kombu and mushrooms, the sake,
mirin and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust
seasonings. Pour over the ingredients in the soup bowls,
and serve at once.

Note: If you do not wish to include the sake in the broth,
simply omit it.

Variations: You can add protein to this dish in the form of
diced tofu or shredded chicken.

Serves 4
Refrigerate remainder
Will not reheat well

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