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Tag Archives: Noodle

Cold Udon with Golden Sesame Dipping Sauce

Zaru Udon

I love cold udon as much as cold somen especially in the summertime. It would depend on the type of udon, but cold udon usually has the nice bouncy texture and it’s also smooth when it goes through the throat. Serving cold udon in a donabe with some ice cubes not only makes a beautiful presentation, but with the porous donabe body gets insulated, it can keep the noodle very cold for extended time.

For this dish, I served the same rich sesame sauce which I introduced in the cold somen recipe. This is a versatile sauce and has nice nutty flavor with natural sweetness coming from the combination of the Golden Sesame Paste and Saikyo Miso.

Enjoy with your choice of toppings. I also like it with canned saba (Japanese mackerel). I usually bring back a very nice kind from Japan.


Oyster Sauce Flavored Steam-Fry Pork Yakisoba Noodle

Oyster Sauce Buta Yakisoba

Yakisoba (stir-fry noodles) is such a casual tasty dish which almost everybody in Japan loves. While there are so many variations of yakisoba, my all time favorite is the simple oyster sauce flavor with pork and cabbage. This yakisoba makes me feel nostalgic, as it’s similar to what my mom used to make for a quick lunch when I was a child. With the tagine-style donabe, Fukkura-san, the ingredients are steam-fried and the noodles have such a nice bouncy texture, while the meat and cabbage get lightly caramelized. Instead of typical karashi (Japanese hot mustard), I like serving this dish with Kanzuri.

As a variation, you can substitute soy sauce with Smoked Soy Sauce for a nice smokey and robust nuance.


Soba Noodle with Green Onion and Shiitake Mushroom

Negi Kinoko Soba

Soba noodle is one of the most beloved traditional Japanese foods in Japan. Many people enjoy soba dishes for lunch, and there are soba restaurants (many are hand-made) and stands everywhere in Japan. At home, soba makes a very popular meal. This is my quick soba noodle dish I love and make all the time for lunch, and I change the toppings according to what I have in my fridge or pantry. Sometimes, I serve with just mushrooms, wakame seaweed, or even completely plain with a dash of yuzu citrus zest. With the porous body of the donabe, I like that the broth stays hot until the end of the meal.


Shiso Chicken Meatball & Grated Daikon Hot Pot

Shiso Tsukune Mizore Nabe

This dish is packed with nutrients, and so easy to make. It’s also a great dish to enjoy with guests. Chicken meatballs have the very nice subtle shiso flavor and they become fluffy after cooked. I like adding a generous amount of coarsely grated daikon (I highly recommend you use Onioroshi daikon grater for the nice crunchy texture for grating daikon). They give both texture and more flavor to the dish.

For seasoning, I use both white tamari and soy sauce for more complex flavor (and also to keep the broth from becoming too dark), but you can use just soy sauce if you like. You can also adjust the seasoning with extra sea salt at the end. But, please remember, this dish is served with Sansho Ponzu Sauce, so the seasoning should be minimum.

Make sure to save enough broth, so you can enjoy the shime (finishing course) of soba noodles!


Soup Udon with Steamed Vegetables

Mushi Yasai Udon

This vegan treat is so easy to make and very satisfying. You just prepare the dashi broth for the udon in the bottom bowl of the Mushi Nabe, set the steam grate on top to steam the vegetables first. Once the vegetables are ready, remove the grate and cook the udon in the broth. Because the vegetables are steamed, they tend to retain more nutrients and taste very pure. The ginger-scented broth stays also very clear and the flavor is so rich in kombu‘s umami. So, this is a win win dish. In this recipe, I used Bistro Mushi Nabe, but you can make this dish with any donabe which is equipped with a steam grate. Adjust the recipe amount according to your size of donabe.


Soba Noodle with Hot Mushroom Dipping Broth

Kinoko no Tsuke-Soba

I love making this dish especially when I am feeling a little weak and need something gentle for my stomach. Once you simmer mushrooms in a rich dashi-based broth, pour it into serving bowls and dip cold noodles in it to enjoy. The mushrooms adds the nice savory flavors to the broth. And, I love to use a generous amount of thinly-sliced ginger for both flavor and helping my body stay warm after having the dish. It’s so soothing and you can keep eating more and more. This dish is also nice to serve for a larger group. You can also change around the ingredients to cook in the broth for fun. For a vegan version, you can make with kombu dashi or vegetable dashi instead of kombu & bonito dashi.


Cold Soba with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba (cold soba with dipping sauce) has been a traditional fast food since Edo Period (1,603 – 1868) in Japan. From kids to elders, people in any social class can enjoy the fresh and smooth soba by quickly dipping in a sauce. While it’s a very popular quick dish for lunch, you can also find soba restaurants or posh izakaya establishments that serve soba as a final course after various small dishes to savor. I remember my late father ate soba for lunch 3 – 4 times a week because it was on of his very favorite foods.

This version, instead of a typical soy sauce and mirin based sauce, I made it with an extra amount of dashi with a generous addition of brown rice black vinegar. The result is a very refreshing umami-packed dipping sauce, which you can even drink up (and it’s so good for you because of its high vinegar content).


Cold Soba with Salmon Roe and Grated Daikon

Ikura Oroshi Soba

This is another quick cold noodle recipe with toppings that don’t require any cooking. Ikura (salmon roe) and grated daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cuisine and they work great with the cold soba. When daikon is grated in a traditional onioroshi (bamboo daikon grater), as opposed to generic metal or plastic grater, the daikon retains a nice crunchy texture while retaining its moisture well. Besides, using onioroshi is kind of like a ritual to me. It’s fun and almost therapeutic to grate daikon with a onioroshi. Don’t forget to add a good amount of thinly-sliced shiso leaves, as it gives a beautiful aroma along with sliced green onions (but if you don’t have shiso, it will still work without it).

The sauce poured over the noodles is the same Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce introduced in my Zaru Soba recipe. Yes, this sauce is so tasty and versatile; I like to make a big batch of it to enjoy in various dishes for a few days!

Cold Somen Noodle with Slow-Roasted Tomato

Hiyashi Roasted Tomato Somen

Here’s another variation of my recipe using slow-roasted tomatoes. After 4 – 5 hours in the oven, the tomatoes become so rich in umami flavors and very soft. So, I like to serve it very simply by topping them over the cold somen noodles and pouring a soy-flavored dashi broth over it. I like breaking the tomatoes with chopsticks and gently mix with the noodles as I eat, or you can coarsely chop the tomatoes before topping over the noodles, too.

The best thing is that both the tomatoes and broth can be prepared up to a few days in advance. So, once I make them for the next days, all I need to do is just boil the somen noodles and assemble them for a quick delicious meal.


Cold Somen Noodle with Golden Sesame Dipping Sauce

Goma-Dare Hiyashi Somen

During the hot summer season in LA or Tokyo, ice-cold somen noodle is often the only thing I feel like having, and I never get tired of it. Did you know donabe is a perfect vessel for serving cold dish, too? With the porous clay body, donabe can keep the cold food very cold for a extended period of time. Also, it simply looks pretty to serve anything out of donabe, too!

For this dish, I introduce my golden sesame dipping sauce. It’s rich in flavor yet refreshing. As for the toppings/ condiments, you can make it as simple like just sliced scallion and Shichimi Togarashi, or you can create a wide array of different toppings when you serve this dish to your guests. In this recipe, I serve with smoked chicken tender, mixed herbs and Yuzu-Kosho.


Cold Ramen with Spicy Pork & Sesame Dipping Broth

Tan Tan Tsukemen

Cold ramen noodles with simmering hot and spicy broth with toppings create a wonderful dish to enjoy in the summer or all year round. The dipping broth is especially rich as it’s seasoned with hatcho miso (very dark miso made of 100% soybeans) with tamari soy sauce. But, if you don’t have either, you can simply substitute with quality red miso and dark soy sauce respectively and it would still be very tasty. You can also serve the broth cold, and it will be so refreshing and perfect to enjoy on a hot day.


Make Your Own Steamed Chicken Pho

Inspired by a popular Vietnamese noodle dish, this is my Japanese version of it and the dish totally takes advantage of the unique versatility of the donabe steamer, Mushi Nabe. I can do steaming and simmering in one pot, and it makes a great presentation at the table, too. I also love serving it hot pot style, so you can cook a small batch of noodles to serve at a time and continue to cook and serve until done. Then, you can choose and enjoy different toppings for every batch, if you like. You can be creative and serve with a wider variety of toppings, too. The broth has layers of umami flavors with the dashi, reserved chicken juice and Ayu fish sauce. This dish is always so comforting and fun at the same time. Instead of serving with a sliced lemon, you can also try with a splash of Pure Hon-Daidai Citrus Juice. The bright aroma of the daidai citrus will completely upgrade the dish to another level!


Somen Noodle and Cherry Blossoms Hot Pot

Sakura Nyumen

I always get so excited when the spring season comes and make a lot of cherry blossom-theme dishes. This is one of them and I add salt-preserved sakura (cherry blossom) flowers to the broth, and I even use the pink sakura-flavored somennoodles made from flour and sakura from Japan. The aroma of sakura in this dish is just so beautiful. But, don’t worry if you don’t have any of them! You can totally make the delicious somen hot pot without the sakura flavors, and this dish can be enjoyed all year round. You can also change the other ingredients to cook with the noodles by using different kinds of mushrooms or tofu, if you like. It’s so gentle on the stomach and always comforting.


Make Your Own Shoyu Ramen Hot Pot

Okonomi Shoyu Ramen Nabe

Making ramen is easy and fun, especially if you cook and serve as donabe hot pot right at the table. I like adding the chopped nira (garlic chives) to the ramen right before serving, but if you can’t find nira, you can substitute with thinly-sliced green onion and serve as a topping, instead. Enjoy with a couple of simple toppings or a make a platter of a wide selection of toppings to choose from for fun.


Mushroom & Mizuna Hot Pot

Hari Hari Nabe

This simple vegan hot pot is so rich in flavor and satisfying. I like to slice the abura-age very thin, as these slices soak up the broth and taste like juicy noodles. If you don’t have access to abura-age, thinly-sliced tofu can work, too. The key for the rich broth flavor is to add the mushrooms before heating up the kombu-soaked water, so the mushrooms release all the umami flavors during the slow heating process. For the shime (finishing course), I like to add udon noodles to the remaining broth, but soba is also good, too.


Chicken Wings & Daikon Hot Pot

Teba Daikon Nabe

Chicken wings and daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cooking. By pan-frying these ingredients before adding to the broth, the flavor of this simple dish enhances dramatically. Because the chicken is already marinated in shio-koji, this dish doesn’t require much more seasoning. Feel free to use fingers to savor the wings, as it’s part of the fun of this dish!


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