Wednesday, 2 May 2012

ginger spring onion sauce with miso soba

ginger spring onion sauce with miso soba
this may sound absurd but i sometimes wish that i could buy individual spring onions. this is because i usually use them as a garnish and find that a large remainder of the bunch languishes in the vegetable drawer. however this week the fortunes of my bunch of spring onion changed all because of an adaptation momofuku’s ginger spring onion sauce.

shuhan of mummy, i can cook writes a lovely blog with an emphasis on how to eat and how to cook. she’s an art student so her blog has a refreshing appeal with colours that mimic spring and graphics to illustrate her recipes. her adaptation of momofuku’s ginger spring onion sauce is called ‘ginger-garlic-spring onion miracle sauce’ and she marries the chinese sauce with spelt tagliolini. i decided to keep to the east asian region by using soba noodles as the base for my dish. because it is still cold i had my soba hot which in japanese cuisine is known as kakejiru. i am certain that this would taste equally good cold.

the flavour of the broth is derived from powdered  dashi (stock) and a teaspoon of miso. i love the nutty, briny umami flavour of this combination. i poured this over soba noodles boiled to the point where they retained a bite. a version of ginger spring onion sauce was the centrepiece of the miso along with the soft heat from a sprinkle of ‘nanami togarashi’. the latter is a blend of seven essential japanese spices. there is the two-tone nuttiness of while and black sesame seeds, the freshness of orange peel and ginger which melds into a warm heat with two kinds of chilli pepper. the seaweed amplifies the umami in the soup. the ginger spring onion sauce itself is surprisingly sweet. it appears that the a little heat brings out the sweetness of the spring onions and wilts them into a soft collapse. the very slight bite of raw spring onion is nowhere to be found.

the recipe below makes one bowl of miso soba with ginger spring onion sauce.

a teaspoon of blonde miso
three hundred ml hot water (from a just boiled kettle)
three quarters of a tablespoon powered dashi
eighty grams soba noodles
one and a half teaspoons ground nut oil
two cloves of garlic, finely minced
a thimble sized lump of ginger, grated fine
four spring onions, thinly sliced (use both the green and white part)
two tablespoons mirin sake

make the miso soup by combining the first three ingredients on the list in a saucepan. keep the saucepan on low heat so that the soup remains hot while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

cook the soba as per the instructions on the packet. i like mine to retain a strong bite. after draining place the soba in a soup bowl.

warm the groundnut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. cook the ginger and garlic in the warmed oil taking care that they  do not colour at all. what you are looking for is for the heat to soften and release their aromas. this should take around two minutes.

at this point raise the heat to medium-high. working quickly  put the sliced spring onions in the pan and give them a quick stir. then introduce the mirin sake and turn the heat up to high. it will sizzle a bit. what i wanted was the shortest possible braise that collects the flavours of the three elements in the pan. this part should take no more than a minute. the spring onions should maintain their brightness but soften completely.

the final part is assembling the soup. pour the miso soup over the soba and top with the ginger spring onion sauce. sprinkle it with the ‘nanami togarashi’ and eat.

1 comment:

  1. that looks just delicious!! I didn't even think to use it in a soup, just only had it"dry" i.e dry tossed in noodles or as a sauce for poached chicken or fried eggs. love the variation using mirin sake, i think that might be what added to the sweetness of the sauce too. nanami togarashi is new to me, sounds like furikake ,amped up to me, now I'm compelled to go google it.