Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chilled Soba with Ginger-Jasmine Poached Sole

I don't know about you, but it's a little hot around here these days. Also, I'm done teaching my summer class and my dissertation is starting at me. Guess that means it's time to cook something!

My old room-mate, Lea, introduced me to cold soba on a hot day. (She has a blog, too!) And it's probably been that long since I had them, since my favourite noodle book, Noodle, advocates making your own dashi and I can't be bothered. It's not that I'm not one to leap at the chance to do things "the right way" or make stuff from scratch; it's just that there's something about "high heat and humidity warning"that doesn't groove with simmering fish stock in a small apartment. But then another friend of mine opened my eyes to the fact that there is, in fact, ready-made soba dipping sauce. I don't know why this didn't cross my mind earlier.

Anyways, boring story short, I give you soba-something, loosely based on the chilled soba recipe from Noodle, with jasmine-ginger-poached sole, of my own invention, and chilled cucumber salad.

You need:

For noodles:
4 bundles of soba noodles
water to boil
soba dipping sauce (or make your own!)
3 green onions, sliced thinly

For fish:
4 fillets of sole, or other white fish
enough water to cover in a shallow pan
1 jasmine tea bag
6-8 slices of fresh ginger
1 green onion, sliced
1 tsp sesame oil

For salad:
1 large cucumber
rice vinegar

1. Cook your noodles according to the package directions, then drain and rinse well, until the noodles are cool. Then chill them in the fridge to keep cool. I tossed mine with a bit of sesame oil for good measure.

2. Put all the fish ingredients except the fish in a shallow frying pan, large enough to hold all your fish without overlapping. Let this simmer for 15 minutes, to let the flavours develop.

3. Meanwhile, slice your cucumber thinly. Mix rice vinegar, mirin and salt in the bottom of a medium bowl, and adjust the amounts to taste. Then toss the cucumber in the dressing and put in the fridge to keep cool.

4. Add the fish to the simmering liquid and cook for 15 minutes, never letting the bubbles get big. When the fist flakes easily with a fork, remove it carefully.

Serve the noodles and fish separately, side by side, or stack the fish on top of the chilled noodles; your noodles won't be as cold this way, but the presentation is nicer.

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