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This is a past article published in Hiragana Times. Each Japanese paragraph is followed by its English translation or vise versa, and furigana are placed above each kanji to make Japanese study even easier. [Magazine Sample] [Subscription Page]

Zaru Soba & Tempura (Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Battered and Deep Fried Seafood & Vegetables)

[From July Issue 2010]

Ingredients [Serves 2]

< Soba >

  • 140g soba (buckwheat noodles-dry)

Yakumi

  • 5cm naganegi (Japanese leek/white part only)
  • Moderate amount of neri wasabi (kneaded Japanese horse radish)

Soba-tsuyu

  • 1 cup ready-made men-tsuyu (seasoned soy sauce)
  • 1 to 2 cup(s) water (depending on the brand of men-tsuyu)

< Tempura >

  • 2 medium to large-sized prawns (beheaded/shelled)
  • 50g pumpkin
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 eggplant
  • moderate amount of deep frying oil

Yakumi (grated)

  • 100g daikon (Japanese radish)
  • 1 small piece (5g) ginger
  • Batter
  • 1/2 egg + cold water to make 1/2 cup mixture
  • 1/2 cup (50g) white flour (soft)

Yakumi: Yakumi’s are the spices and herbal vegetables that add flavor to the dish.
Checking oil temperature: drop bits of batter into the oil. 150~160°C: the batter sinks to the bottom then slowly rises. 170~180°C: sinks midway then rises. Over 200°C: immediately rises and dissipates at the surface

< Soba >

1. Mix men-tsuyu and water to make soba-tsuyu (soba sauce). Dilute the sauce accordingly since thickness differs by manufacturer.

2. Chop the yakumi leek by koguchi-giri (thinly sliced, starting from the root end). Submerge in water, then drain.

3. Boil plenty of water and drop in the noodles while separating.

4. Remove with strainer, rinse under cold water, then drain.

5. Serve the soba noodles with soba-tsuyu and yakumi.

< Tempura >

1. Prawns: Peel shells leaving the last tail joint, and devein. Slice pumpkin into 7 to 8 mm thick slices. Cut the hull of the eggplant then cut into four vertical pieces then slice 3 to 4 incisions into each piece. Cut the stems off the shiitake mushrooms and slice incisions on the top of the mushroom.

2. Make the batter. Mix beaten eggs with cold water in a measuring cup. Pour into bowl then add flour while sifting.

3. Mix lightly with cooking chopsticks. Be sure not to make the mix sticky.

4. Pour 3cm of oil in a frying pan and heat to medium temperature (170°C).

5. Dip vegetables into batter one by one, then use chopsticks to smoothly slide them into the oil. Turn vegetable over when the batter slightly browns. Take out when the color turns light brown and the batter feels crisp.

6. Lightly sprinkle 1/2 tbsp flour (not included in above ingredients) on the prawn. Leave tail part batter free and set prawn into oil.

7. Place the tempura in a mound. Place ten-tsuyu and yakumi along side the tempura to serve.


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