Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lemon & Ginger Soba Noodles with Tofu and Salmon Gari and no Matcha ice-cream...yet

This month's country for Bloggers Around the World hosted by Chris at Cooking around the World was here.
Japan.  I love oriental/asian food generally but hadn't cooked anything specifically Japanese before so went on search on t'interwebs for a suitable clutch of recipes.  I had soba noodles in the cupboard to use up as well as tofu so picked this tasty sounding lemon and ginger recipe from Steamy Kitchen.
Incidentally there's a great recipe resource here on the Eat-Japan site that allows you to pick by ingredient type, seasoning, time needed etc.
I wanted to try more than one recipe out and in my travels I came across this baked salmon recipe with gari - the pickled ginger you get with sushi.  I love this stuff so this recipe intrigued me and sounded super simple and quick to make.  Turn oven on - lay salmon in greased dish and scatter gari over the top.  Bake.
I'm not going to put the whole soba noodle recipe here - you need to visit the link to check it out but with lemon, ginger, honey, cayenne, soy, rice vinegar and sesame oil in the dressing plus toasted sesame seeds
you know it's punchy and flavourful.  I halved the amounts of noodles and tofu as the recipe is for 4, although I realised afterward I used the amount of dressing that was for 4 peoples noodles on the halved amount - it was very well flavoured!
The tofu was tasteless - the recipe says to fry until browned - I'm now convinced (having never cooked with tofu before) that this is an unobtainable fallacy as no matter how high I turned my pan and how long
I left the tofu no browning was occurring.  It just started sticking instead.  :-( I think for tofu in future I'll stick to my instinct that says it needs a lot of marinading first to make it taste of anything.
The salmon I liked - but then I love salmon anyway.  I did find it a little on the sweet side but gari can vary in sweetness a lot - a different brand that I have a jar of at work is nothing like as sweet as the one I had here.  I think this dish would be improved vastly by using a less sweet gari but it was interesting to try as a flavour combination.
Lastly - it must be dessert surely?  Well - I had a sachet of Matcha (green tea) powder in the cupboard I've been looking to do something with for a while and after having had Matcha ice-cream once at the local 'Steaks n Sushi' restaurant which I had loved this seemed the obvious answer.  So - I found this very simple sounding recipe at Just One Cookbook - one of many great Japanese food blogs out there.  Then - I ran out of time.
This post should have been up yesterday and although I made the salmon and noodles yesterday I only got to writing it up now so....the ice-cream will have to be a different post.  I shall make it though and let you know how it goes.

Yesterday we had to scarf down the noodles - super yum we decided - then run to catch the rugby bus to see Chiefs beat London Irish 27-6 to get us into the top 6 that would mean we're in the Heineken Cup again next year.  Fingers crossed we can stay there!!


  1. Very well, you have taken things very serious and really got into Japanese cooking. It seems like, you are using the same soy sauce as I have.
    Regarding the tofu, I once had tofu that browned, but as far as I remember it, it had to be very dry.

  2. Aha! That must be the tofu secret! I really enjoyed finding the Japanese recipes - thank you!

  3. So, how come you like noodles but have to cut up your spaghetti?

  4. Ruth, I don't know much about Japanese food other than sushi and sashimi (which I buy rather than make) but learning new cuisines is a great idea. Cheers

    1. That's what I love about the Bloggers around the world challenge - it makes you go and research these different cuisines. Fascinating! I love sushi and sashimi too - haven't made them yet though!

    2. Ruth, thank you for replying to my comment. Did you know, though, that people only see your replies if they make a special visit back to the post they commented on? Otherwise they would never see your reply. That is why I reply to comments by visiting the other person's blog and commenting there so I can be sure they will see it. Some people reply by email but I like to visit the blog and see what the other person has been posting. Hope to see you over at Carole's Chatter again soon. Cheers.

      Ps I have an image that nicely represents Mexican food. I am happy to share it with you. Just drop me a line on and I'll shoot it over to you.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you. :-) The egg cup makes it - proper old carlton one that is!

  6. Is there any way I can subscribe to your blog in yahoo email? That is the location I mostly follow. Please reply ASAP. Thanks!

    1. Hi, I've just added the 'follow by email' gadget - just for you! Please let me know if it works though as I've seen differing reports.
      Thanks for reading and being interested enough to want to follow! *waves* :-)


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