Otsu (Best Soba Recipe)

Friends!

 

We are friends, right? I mean we talk on a daily basis, I missed you all when we didn’t have access to internet, we share the good, the bad, the ugly and the tasty. Yes, we are friends and I feel that we are now so close, I could not keep this secret to myself any longer.

 

This is important – I am about to reveal the best recipe in the universe. My go to meal, the one you are 100% guaranteed to be served when you come to our house for dinner. It is that good. And once again, I have to thank Heidi for introducing me to this wonderful delicious meal. I make a little bow, rotate, let’s get started:

 

Otsu (aka Best Soba Recipe Ever)

 

Preparation time: excluding the dancing part I’d say 20 minutes perhaps?

 

Cooking time: 15 minutes

 

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Ingredients:

 

Dressing:

Juice from 1 lemon

2 cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like spicy food)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown rice vinegar (can substitute balsamic vinegar)

1/3 cup shoyu sauce (or regular soya sauce)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil (you basically need 4 tablespoons oil so use olive oil if you don’t have sesame)


Other:

250 g soba noodles

100 g tofu (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced

toasted sesame seeds to garnish (optional)


Supposed to serve 4 to 6 but Bugi and I finish this on our own…

 

I had never heard of soba noodles until I saw them in Whole Foods in London and just couldn’t resist buying a few packs (I am known for hoarding Japanese ingredients:) Soba is apparently Japanese for buckwheat. Soba contain all essential amino acids including lysine (not present in wheat pasta) making them as close as possible to protein (excluding meat obviously!) Protein means soba fills you up which is why soba noodles are a popular fast food dish in Japan. Unlike traditional pasta, soba noodles can be enjoyed both hot and cold. I know what you must be thinking – cold noodles? Yes, cold soba is absolutely fantastic. So, if you don’t have soba lying around in your pantry (like most people) run to your nearest health food store or a place where they are likely to sell Japanese ingredients and stock up. I guarantee you that you will love this dish so much you will want to cook it again!

 

Let’s get started, shall we?

 

1. Prepare the tofu using Emily’s wonderful tutorial. I use this method every time!

 

2. Before doing anything else put a large pot of water on the stove so it can be hot and ready for the soba noodles. Trust me, the rest of the recipe is very quick so you will want to get a head start on the noodles.

 

3. Prepare the dressing by putting the lemon juice, ginger, honey, cayenne, salt, rice vinegar, shoyu (or soya) sauce and the oil in a bowl.


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Check the recipe again to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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This is how the dressing looks when all the ingredients are combined.


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Whip out your hand blender or food processor and in less than a minute the dressing will look like this:


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Much better!

 

4. Now slice the green onions, the coriander and the cucumber. Place in a LARGE mixing bowl.


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If you accidentally forgot to cover the pot with water and it is still not boiling, well then use the time wisely, dance a little:


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Shake it! It’s important for the recipe, I swear!


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And while you are dancing pay attention to your own personal paparazzo just in case he is having a little too much fun with your fruit bowl. Where did that come from?


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Guilty face?


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Or “You dance so well honey but can we eat now?” face…

 

5. Cook the soba noodles according to instructions (boil for around 8 minutes stirring occasionally). Then rinse with cold water until the soba is cold. Drain all excess water and add the soba to the mixing bowl.

 

6. Add the dressing, the tofu and the sesame seeds (if using) and combine well.


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If you’d rather skip steps 1 to 6 come on over and we’ll cook Otsu together!


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