Friday, October 16, 2009

Wasabi-miso sauce

My supper goals for tonight were manifold:

1. To see if the yuba I used yesterday would change texture much if it were soaked in a little warm water;
2. To try another recipe from The Artful Vegan;
3. To use some beech mushrooms I've had for a little while in the fridge;
4. To step up and start cooking with seaweed.

To answer question #1, in fact it did change considerably. I rolled the scraps from yesterday up tight and cut them into ribbons, then soaked them for about five minutes in warm water. They became very soft, pale, and fresh-like. I was impressed! Clearly there is a lot more I need to learn about yuba in its various manifestations.

The recipe I tried from The Artful Vegan was wasabi-miso sauce, again available at Google Books (is the whole book online?). It was good, but surprisingly mild and creamy. Next time I think I would increase the relative amounts of the strong-tasting ingredients (wasabi, ginger, miso). The whole page is called Buckwheat pappardelle with wasabi-miso sauce and sea vegetable salad, and I would have made it all but I didn't have the proper ingredients for the stir fry on hand. This time I can't be snide about it: I saw burdock root in the Asian market yesterday but didn't buy it, and sweet red peppers are normally a refrigerator staple in my house, but not during Japanese month.

I did, however, make the sea vegetable salad, with wakame. I am trying hard (okay, I've put it off until basically tonight, but tonight I tried) but seaweed is not my favourite food. In microdoses, all mixed up with everything else, it does add a certain intriguing, attractive flavour, but I fear that, in strength, sea vegetables other than nori, which I love, will take some serious getting used to. That said, I did shred the wakame up finely, used less than the recipe called for, and mixed everything up together before I ate it, and this meal was excellent.

So check out the Google Books link above for the wasabi-miso sauce. What I then did was create a little stir fry of sesame oil, carrots, negi (which are like giant Japanese green onions; you can use green onions or leeks in lieu), the soaked yuba strips, green edamame beans, and beech mushrooms. Meanwhile I cooked a portion of soba noodles, then drained and rinsed them, and mixed them with some of the wasabi-miso sauce, topped that with the stir fry, dressed it with the sea vegetable salad, and sprinkled the whole thing with minced late-season roma tomatoes and roasted sesame seeds.

Although this looks similar to some of the other dishes I've cooked this month, the taste was quite different, largely owing to the wakame I think. But I may go to work on the leftover sauce tomorrow and see what else I can make of it…

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