Soba noodles served with vegetable tempura

July 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Great Japanese cuisine made easy. Chef Shotaro "Sho" Kamio, executive chef at Yoshi's San Francisco, shares his noodle recipe.

Chef Sho has created a unique dining experience at Yoshi's San Francisco with a new generation of modern Japanese cuisine. Using only fresh, high-quality, seasonal ingredients delicately combined with traditional spices, Chef Sho prepares each dish with his culinary philosphy: "seasonal, simple, and a bit of surprise".

For more information, visit http://sf.yoshis.com/sf/restaurant

Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 655-5600

Chilled Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Vegetable Tempura
By Executive Chef Shotaro "Sho" Kamio

Serves 4 people

NOTE: All ingredients can be purchased at any Japanese market including Nijiya Market (SF) and Tokyo Fish Market (Berkeley)

Soba Sauce Base

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar

Method:

  1. Mix together until sugar dissolves.
  2. Can be made the night before. Keep chilled.

Dashi

Ingredients:

  • 1 Quart Water
  • 8 sq. in. Konbu (Dried Kelp Seaweed)
  • 1/4 oz Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito Flakes), Tightly packed.

Method:

  1. Wipe salt film off of the konbu with a damp cloth.
  2. Add to a pot with the water.
  3. Turn on and remove the konbu just before the water comes to a boil. Add the katsuobushi.
  4. Let cook for 15 seconds, remove from the heat and strain. Can be made the night before. Keep chilled.

Soba Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 C. Dashi (You can use instant dashi if it is more convenient. Follow the preparation directions on the package)
  • 5 1/2 oz Soba Sauce Base

Method:

  1. Combine the two sauces together and keep chilled.

Buckwheat Soba Noodles

  • 1 lb Cooked Buckwheat Soba Noodles

Method:

  1. Cook soba noodles in boiling water until tender.
  2. Immediately strain and place into an ice water bath.
  3. After the soba is chilled, portion them into 4 oz balls. Keep chilled.

Tempura Batter

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs, whole, beaten
  • Water, chilled
  • 1 C Flour, All Purpose

Method:

  1. Place beaten eggs into a measuring cup.
  2. Add enough chilled water to the measuring cup (with the eggs in it) to fill to 1 cup.
  3. Add the mixture to the flour and stir. Do not over stir. Small clumps of batter are ideal. Keep chilled.

Vegetables Tempura

Ingredients:

  • 1 ea Japanese Eggplant, Medium Sized, Cut into 4 bite size strips
  • 1 ea Zucchini, Medium Sized, Cut into 8 bite size strips
  • 4 pc Okra, Large, Split in half
  • 1 ea Carrot, Medium Sized, Cut into 4 bite size pieces
  • 4 pc Shiitake Mushroom, Medium Sized, Cut in half
  • 1 pc Lotus Root, Medium Sized, Cut into four 1/3" pieces.
  • 4 florets Broccolini, Cut into 2-inch lengths
  • Tempura Batter
  • Rice Bran or Cottonseed Oil

Method:

  1. Heat your oil to 350 degrees.
  2. Place your vegetables into the tempura batter (it is not necessary to dredge the vegetables in flour first), shake off any excess batter and gently place into the oil, taking caution not to splash the oil.
  3. Turn the vegetables over once and cook until lightly crispy (do not brown). Remove the vegetables from the oil and place on a rack to drain. Keep warm.
Method: To assemble Chef Sho's Chilled Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Vegetable Tempura:
  1. Shock the soba noodles in a fresh ice water bath.
  2. Remove, shake off any excess water and place 4 oz into each of the 4 bowls.
  3. Add about 4 ounces of the Soba Sauce onto and around the noodles.
  4. Divide the vegetables onto four plates that are lined with tempura paper (you can use cocktail napkins or large palatable leaves in lieu of the tempura paper) and garnish with a small pile of shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili pepper spice, this can be added to the soba sauce or to the tempura).
  5. Place a small dollop of wasabi paste on the side of the bowl (this will be mixed into the soba sauce).
  6. Garnish the top of the soba noodles with finely sliced green onion and kizami nori (fine julienne of toasted nori).
  7. Eat immediately. You can dip your tempura vegetables into your soba sauce. Enjoy!


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