I Made It!
It’s been a while. I’ve been busy, and haven’t tried anything new in a while.
So, tonight I made
Gomoku soba. It’s actually deceptively simple. There are a number of steps, but they’re all fairly straightforward, and many can be done in advance.
First off, you’ll need four hard-boiled eggs. You may well have a favorite recipe for these, but just in case here’s the deal: get a large pot and put as many whole eggs as will fit in a single layer in the bottom. Cover them with water until a depth of one inch above the tops of the eggs. Put the pot on high heat until it just comes to a boil. Then cover it and remove from the heat. After ten minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs from the hot water to an ice water bath for five minutes to stop the cooking process. Go on and make a dozen if you’ve got a pot big enough. They’ll keep.
Okay, next we need to make konbu dashi. This is just a kelp soup stock, and it’s even easier. Put half an ounce of dried konbu and eight cups of water in a pot. Bring it to a boil and simmer for twenty minutes. Remove and discard the konbu, and let the dashi cool. Separate into two containers of slightly less than a quart each and refrigerate or freeze just like any other stock. One of these containers will be used in the soba recipe, so don’t freeze it if you’re going to be making it soon.
We’ll also need some shiitake dashi, but since we’re going to use the shiitake themselves it’s best to make this right before making the soba. put eight dried shiitake in two cups of very hot tap water and let them steep for about half an hour. Take them out, discard the stems, cut the caps into strips, and set the strips aside. Then put the shiitake dashi and one of the containers of konbu dashi into a large pot. Add five tablespoons of tamari soy sauce and half a cup of sake. Bring this stock to a simmer.
Now for the vegetables: half a large carrot, sliced into very thin rounds; eight green onions, cut into inch-long pieces; and half a head of chinese cabbage, chopped half an inch thick. Simmer the vegetables one at a time in the stock until just undercooked and set aside with the shiitake. Trust me on this one. Keep the stock simmering gently.
Finally, boil a pound of soba in another pot. Drain it and separate it among four to eight bowls. Peel and halve four hard-boiled eggs, and arrange on top of the soba with the vegetables. Ladle simmering stock over the vegetables and noodles to reheat everything. Garnish with red pepper flakes, and serve.
Actually, once you finish simmering the vegetables, you can save them and the stock. When you’re ready to eat, bring the stock back to a simmer, boil the soba you’re going to serve, and finish the preparation as usual.