The first time I had homemade yakisoba was a less-than-sober night back in college at the house of my good friend Mike Martinez. We were hungry and like most college students had an ample supply of Ramen noodles. In a fit of sheer genius Mike produced a head of cabbage, some onions, and mushrooms from parts unknown. In his mad scientist-like quest to concoct the the perfect drunk food, he sustained 2nd degree burns to his forearm in the half crescent shape if his favorite fry pan. We ate the amazing soba noodles greedily and luckily as Mike said, the burn didn’t hurt until the next day. Since then I have not attempted homemade soba, until today. This is adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe.
Start with the sauce:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 tsp hot sesame oil (you can use really any hot pepper to spice it)
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
The noodley bits:
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp ginger (chopped)
1 Tbsp garlic (chopped)
10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
One head of thinly sliced Naapa cabbage (8 cups)
6 green onions (sliced)
8 to 9 ounces soba noodles
As per usual it behooves the cook to make the sauce first. It really is just a matter of stirring the ingredients together so don’t sweat it. Just mix them together in a bowl and set aside for later.
Toss the sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Toast them just enough to release the aromas. They will get a little brown.
At this point boil enough water to cover the soba noodels. Place them in the water for a few minutes. Once they are soft to the touch, drain them and set aside. (Where is this “aside” in which people are always telling me to put things?)
Chop up your veggies and mushrooms!
Into a large fry pan pour vegetable oil. Once it is hot, toss in ginger and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until you smell their combined awesomeness. It will smell like a picnic at Yan Can Cook‘s House.
Toss in the mushrooms and mix well. Let them saute for about 4-5 minutes.
Then add in the cabbage and most of the green onions (save some onions for garnish if you are the posh type who garnishes things). Let them simmer with the other bits for about 6 minutes.
Now you need to mix the triumvirate of flavors together. Toss the drained noodles into the cabbage mixture and finally mix in the sauce.
At this point you are near perfection. Serve up some portions of this fine mess and sprinkle some sesame seeds and and green onions on top.
And your done. Do you feel good about yourself? Cause you should.
Labels: Japanese, main, noodles