The "Page of Yum"

As most of you know, I am a self confessed gourmand, or foodie- with a dilemma. I am gluten intolerant, which means I can't eat Wheat, Rye, Oats, or Barley. I also have vegetarian leanings -I was a vegetarian for 8 years before conceding to eat seafood in Japan (in the interest of eating out, since it's pretty tricky to find non wheaty, non meaty meals in a land of ramen shops and tempura..) Inspired by a recent web page, I thought it would be nice to share some recipes. My recipes never contain gluten OR meat products, but I promise that I (and my husband) found them delicious. I'm going to sincerely try to make this a regular feature- but we'll see at how well I can keep it up.

Recipe for the week of July 28th....
Fox Noodle Soup

14 oz. dried soba noodles
1 spring onion, sliced
1 cake of Firm tofu, pressed
Broth: 2/3 cup mirin
2/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
3 3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt (if needed)
3 3/4 cup dashi stock

Fox Noodle Soup

Press tofu for at least 30 minutes, and then fry in at least 1/2 inch canola or peanut oil, turning once or twice. Remove from pan and press between paper towels on a plate, keeping warm if possible.

To make the soup, put the mirin in a large pan. Bring to the boil, then add the rest of the soup ingredients aart from the dashi stock. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Skim off the scum and cook for 2 minutes. Strain the soup and put back into a clean pan with the dashi stock. Put the noodles in a large pan with at least 9 cups of rapidly boiling water, and stir frequently to stop them from sticking. When the water foams, pour in about 1/4 cup cold water to lower the temperature. Repeat when the water foams once again. The noodles should be slightly softer than al dente pasta. Tip the noodles into a sieve and wash under cold water with your hands.

Heat the soup. Warm the noodles with hot water, and divide among individual serving bowls. Place the tofu on the noodles and add the soup. Sprinkle with sliced spring onion, and serve immediately.

Bonito flakes produced at Tsukiji fish market Dashi recipes

Fish Dashi:
'first dashi stock'- (double for above recipe)

2 1/2 cups water
4 in standard konbu
3/4 oz kezuri-bushi (Bonito - also known as shaved, dried, tuna or katsuo-bushi.)

  1. Pour water into a pan and add konbu. Leave to soak for 1 hour.
  2. Place, uncovered over a medium heat and bring almost to boiling point.
    Remove the konbu and reserve it for use in the second dashi stock. Bring the water to the boil.
  3. Add about 1/4 cup cold water and immediately add the kezuri bushi. Bring back to the boil and remove the pan from the heat. Do not stir. leave the flakes to settle to the base of the pan.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve. This stock is ready to use.

OR Vegetarian Dashi:

Kombu Dashi: Wipe one strip of kombu with a damp cloth or rinse quickly under running water. The ideal method of soaking kombu is to put it into cold water and allow it to sit for six hours or so. It is said that this lengthy soaking time makes best use of the kombu's nutrients and gives the finest flavor. For the rest of us without all the free time, bring the kombu ALMOST to a full boil and remove. NEVER BOIL KOMBU as it gets bitter.

Shitake Dashi: Soak some dried shitake in cold water for a few hours to bring out its best flavor or, if time doesn't allow, bring them to a boil and boil gently for about 15 minutes until soft and fragrant. Remove and cool on a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice thinly and return to the dashi for soup, or use in a stir fry.

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