Tag Archives: Soba

Japanese Vegan Treat: Cha Soba/Tea Soba

cha-soba1.jpg

Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated for its green tea all the World.
It grows no less than 50% of the national crop.
Vegetarians (and vegans!), rejoice!
A company called Ikejima Foods in Hamakita Ku, Hamamatsu City has come up with Tea Buckwheat Noodles/Cha-soba! (or Tya Soba)!
Tea comes from the Kawane area which produces some of the best tea in the Prefecture.
The noodles contain no preservatives, and neither the noodles, nor the tsuyu/soup contains any animal extracts whatsoever (no milk or egg products).
One pack contains enough for 4 small or 2 medium portions.

cha-soba2.jpg

As for cooking, here are simple instructions:
Cold Noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup in 100 ml of clean water.
In one big pan heat 2 litres of water. Bring to boiling point. Drop in noodles. Lower fire to small. Stir with long chopsticks. The noodles are ready when they readily come to the surface. Wash them rapidly under running cold water inside a “zaru”/small basket or inside a bowl full of cold water until noodles are cool enough. Drain water and place on a flat dish over a bamboo net if possible. Eat noodles by dipping them in tsuyu/soup to which you can add freshly cut raw leeks and wasabi (or any spices you fancy!)

Hot noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup into 230 ml of hot water.
Cook noodles as for cold style. Drain and drop into bowl full of tsuyu/soup. Add vegetables, freshly cut raw leeks and spices to taste.

“Meicha Soba”
Ikejima Foods
Hamamatsu City, Hamakita Ku, Terajima, 2351
Tel.: 053-587-1025


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Vegan and Vegetarian Sushi (renewed)

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(from top to bottom and left to right: Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongue Tuber, Celery marinated in Amazu/sweet vinegar and pickled Japanese plums, Shiro negi/White leek, Na no Hana/Rape Blossoms, Gobo/Burdock roots, Satsuma Imo/Sweet yams, Daikon/Long Japanese radish)

Whenever I can convince there is Japanese food fit for Vegans and Vegetarians (I’m neither!), I make a point of posting articles that might help friends with different culinary priorities!
I have recently received more requests about recipes and examples.
Therefore I decided to re-post a former article with the addition of more discoveries!

There is vegan and vegetarian sushi in Japan and elsewhere!
As a proof have a good look at the picture and explanations above. The pic was taken at Iroha Sushi, a small but extremely renown sushi restaurant in Iwata City, an area celebrated for its vegetables!

vegan-sushi1
Kyoto is a renown place for Vegan & Vegetarian Sushi!
From right to left, top to bottom:, Yuuba (tofu sheets), Takenoko (Bamboo shoots), Myoga (myoga ginger), Zenmai (Spring vegetable variety), Ki no mi (Spring vegetables), Awafu (grilled tofu sheets), Kamo Nasu (kamo egg-plant), Hakusai Maki (Chinese cabbage).
Print a copy of this pic, show it to your local Sushi Restaurant and challenge him/her into preparing your favorite tidbits!

vegan-sushi2
From bottom to top: Takenoko (boiled bamboo shoots topped with a sprig of sansho/Japanese pepper plant)), Kabu Tsukemono (pickled turnip), Sugiku no Ha Maki (sugiku Chrysanthemum leaves)
And what about these? Not only tasty but fulfilling!

efbd8befbd81efbd8defbd90efbd99efbd8fefbd95efbd8daki
“Kanpyou maki”/dry gourd shavings: here is one that any sushi restaurant will serve you!

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That small one is my personal favourite: “menegi”/thin leeks sprouts!

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Vegan/vegetarian Te-maki: natto, shiso, ume/Japanese pickled plum.
(Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!)

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Another Vegan/vegetarian Kanpyo-maki/dry gourd shavings roll for second dessert!

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Menegi/leek sprouts, Soba no Shinme/buckwheat sprouts, Mitsuba, avocado, Takuan/pickled daiko and shiso nd cucumber gunkan, mizuna gunkan.
(Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City!)

sobasushimaki

And how about Soba Sushi maki?

I’ll still keep looking!

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Soba/Buckwheat Noodles: Easy Preparation

soba-saru

I’ve been asked for some time how to make your own soba/buckwheat noodles at home.
It is not that difficult, although you might need some particular tools.
Here is a simple recipe from which you can freely improvise.

INGREDIENTS:
Enough for 5 people
Buckwheat Flour/Soba-ko: 400g
Wheat flour (normal): 100g
Cold water: 250g
Some additional buckwheat flour for folding

TOOLS:
Large pan
Wooden rolling pin
Large Chinese/Japanese-style chopping knife
Wooden working surface/board
Board for guiding knife

RECIPE:

First step:
soba_1
Pour buckwheat flour and Wheat flour into a large basin/pan and mix well.
Pour in one third of the water slowly in a thin flow. Mix with tip of fingers.

Step 2:
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Break eventual hard lumps between fingers.

Step 3:
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Repeat step 1 twice again until you obtain a fine mixture.
Work as fast as possible.

Step 4:
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Once satisfied with the uniformity of the mixture, press hard with your knuckles.

Step 5:
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Once the flour has chamged into one lump, fold and press with palm of the hand.

Step 6:
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Repeat Step 5 until lump has become shiny. Fold into a ball.

Step 7:
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Shape the lump into a pyramid.

Step 8:
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Turn pyramid onto its tip and press hard as to form a saucer.

Step 9:
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Start spreading lump with wooden roll pin. first angle by angle as to form square.

Step 10:
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Once you have spread the lump until the square has diminished to a 2 mm thickness, first sprinkle some buckwheat flour all over the surface and fold in two.

Step 11:
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Sprinkle with buckwheat flour and fold again (4 layers).

Step 12:
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Cut soba lump with the heavy chopping knife, using the wooden guide board for even cutting by shifting the guide board slightly after each cut.

Step 13:
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Bring a large large pan of water to boil, drop noodles into water separating them between your fingers as they fall out. Boil for 2~3 minutes stirring with long chopsticks.

Step 14:
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Take noodles out of pan (the soba tsuyu/soba soup can be used hot later) with a sieve and coll down under running cold water. Drain.

Step 15:
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Serve onto plate with or without dry seaweed, wasabi, soba soup or whatever you feel like.
You could also make maki with the same soba.
Variations are many!

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Shizuoka Sobaya (Soba/Buckwheat Noodles): Setsugetsuka


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Last week, during that memorable day spent in the merry company of Etsuko Nakamura, Melinda Joe and Timothy Sullivan, we had lunch at a sobaya I had planned to visit for quite some time in Shimada City: Setsugetsuka.

This is the kind of place I can recommend to a lot of people with very different culinary tastes, be they vegetarian, vegan or omnivourous (that’s for me).
The interior has just been revamped into a great Japanese semi-traditional atmosphere, which should please guests in search of a true Japanese setting.

The food from complimentary soba tofu (see above picture) to dessert is of refined quality at very reasonable prices.
The 7th generation chef (the place was opened 90 years ago) tries to combine classics and original recipes:


“Fuwa fuwa tamagoyaki”/a Japanese omelette with a twist: The tamagoyaki is first cooked, put inside a bowl with “dashi/soup stock”, then covered with beaten eggs and cooked again in an oven to attain a “cloudy omelette” reminiscent of a souffle!


Tenpura are served one at a time to ensure freshness.


Tenpura includes “sakura Ebi Kakiage”, made with Sakura Shrimps which can be caught only off Yui-cho shore in the Prefecture!


Soba come in many varieties from stright “10-wari” to:


violet soba (mixed with violet yam!)

Frankly speaking one cannot exhaust all the possibilities, so visit their homepage (Click on anything printed in blue or violet!). Even if you do not understand Japanese, you will enjoy the pics!

Incidentally, they serve great local sake from their neighbours at Oomuraya Brewery!

Setsugetsuka
Shimada City, Hotoori, 2-3-4
TEL: 0547-35-5241
Opening hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Mondays and third Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE

Tea Buckwheat Noodles: “Tya-soba”


The Japan Blog List

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

cha-soba1.jpg

Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated for its green tea all the World.
Vegeterians (and vegans!), rejoice! A company called Ikejima Foods in Hamakita Ku, Hamamatsu City has come up with Tea Buckwheat Noodles/Tya-soba!.
Tea comes from the Kawane area which produces some of the best tea in the Prefecture.
The noodles contain no preservatives and neither the noodles, nor the tsuyu/soup contains any animal extracts whatsoever (no milk or egg products).
One pack contains enough for 4 small or 2 medium portions.

cha-soba2.jpg

As for cooking, here are simple instructions:
Cold Noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup in 100 ml of clean water.
In one big pan heat 2 litres of water. Bring to boiling point. Drop in noodles. Lower fire to samll. Stir with long chopsticks. The noodles are ready when they readily come to the surface. Wash them rapidly under running cold water inside a “zaru”/small basket or inside a bowl full of cold water until noodles are cool enough. Drain water and place on a flat dish over a bamboo net if possible. Eat noodles by dipping them in tsuyu/soup to which you can add freshly cut raw leeks and wasabi (or any spices you fancy!)

Hot noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup into 230 ml of hot water.
Cook noodles as for cold style. Drain and drop into bowl full of tsuyu/soup. Add vegetables, freshly cut raw leeks and spices to taste.

“Meicha Soba”
Ikejima Foods
Hamamatsu City, Hamakita Ku, Terajima, 2351
Tel.: 053-587-1025

Soba Restaurant: Bokunenji

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bokunenjin3.jpg

My Japanese better (worse?) half who is a soba-addict had always wanted to visit Bokunenji in Shuzenji, Izu peninsula. The comparatively long train and bus journey (a couple of hours from Shizuoka City) means that we do not have many opprtunities to visit this charming little city.

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Bokunenji is your typical traditional Japanese restaurant set in an ancient wooden house fit with tatami and cushions. A bit tough for my stiff body, but stiil worth suffering a little!

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Bokunenji serves “juwari” soba/buckwheat noodles in 9 different manners, hot or cold, as well as 8 kinds of side dishes. Any soba restaurant worth its salt should serve “tamago yaki/Japanese omelette” and “yaki soba miso”/soba seeds and miso grilled on a wooden spoon. Therefore we ordered tamago yaki, which was excellent by any standards.

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As for the noodles my better (worse?) half ordered hot noodles with slices of duck, and I “oroshi soba” (cold noodles served with grated daikon radish).
They were really tasty andI came to understand why the place is so popular as demonstrated by the guests keeping coming in all the time.
Eating such food in such a place will provide with a true Japanese experience.
The prices are a bit stiff, but this is a very popular tourist spot.
Among the proposed sake, they serve Isojiman (Yaizu City) Honjozo, which is definitely a plus in their favour!

Bokunenji
Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu City, Shuzenji, 3451-40
Tel: 0558-730073
Business hours: 10:30~16:00
Closed on Wednesdays