Friday, June 01, 2007

Zuppa giapponese con spaghettini 'somen'

Berkeley Bowl is an endless source of inspiration to try out new dishes. So recently I bought a few different types of noodles, just to experiment with different cuisines. Usually when I buy an ingredient I don't really know, I surf on the internet and find inspiration from various recipes that use it, and I either copy one or make up one.
This is my version of a Japanese Noodle Soup, using 'somen' noodles.
Somen are very thin wheat noodles:
(Image from wikipedia post on somen noodles).
My soup has an ingredient which I think is more Chinese than Japanese. It was another of the strange and inspiring things that I found at the Berkeley bowl and didn't really know how to use... mogua:
It's a sort of big cucumber, with a little hair on its skin. It looked like a squash, so I was going to use it in an Italian-style spaghetti dish. Luckily I tasted it before using it for the sauce. :) So I used part of it for a salad and part for this soup, after finding out that it's in fact used in soups cooked very slowly with meat. Of course there was no meat in my soup, but anyway, the taste was quite good :)
Zuppa di spaghetti in stile giapponese con mogua / Japanese-style noodle soup with mogua
A packet of somen noodles (5 bundles)
10 shitake mushrooms
2 green bell peppers
3 sheets of nori
1/2 mogua
1 packet of tofu (1 lb)
Japanese 'soba' sauce (fish-based soy sauce)
Soy sauce
5 anchovies
Vegetable bouillon
Heat up water in a big pot (~1/2 gallon, I think). Add the nori sheets, cut into pieces, some soba sauce, soy sauce, the anchovies, the bouillon and salt to taste. This is going to be the broth base. Cut the peppers and the mogua into small pieces and add them to the broth. When the peppers and mogua are almost cooked (~20 min), add the mushrooms cut into pieces and the tofu, diced. Cook for another 10 minutes. In another pot, boil some water and throw the somen noodles in it. They'll be ready in 3 minutes. Drain them and add them to the soup.
Enjoy! It's a really good and Japanese-tasting soup. :)


Ruth Daniels said...

What a very inventive dish! Sorry it's taken so long for me to see it. I've been out of town.

I'll be adding it to this week's Presto Pasta Night.

Unknown said...

thanks for mentioning this, Marta.
I have been dying for cold noodles since summer comes. I have not been able to find a good Chinese noodle for cold dish. I guess Japanese somen would be a choice.

chemcookit said...

So good to hear from you Yanli! I also found nice recipes for japanese soba noodles as cold noodle dish, if you want to try it. Take care!