My roomie has introduced me to the simple and delicious joys of Japanese home cooking. This past winter we warmed up our cold hungry tummies with hot-pot and soups. But on this July day, Mimi-san made us some cold noodles for dinner. I must admit I had my doubts at first – cold noodles did not sound very appetizing – but they turned out to be light and refreshing. Served alongside a variety of cold meat and pickled veggies, they make the perfect, no-fuss summer meal.
Use soba (brown or white) – prepare according to package directions, then plunge into ice water.
Mince some peeled ginger and green onions very finely. Also slice up some cold roast pork – we used Chinese barbecued pork that Mimi’s mom made last weekend.
Set out pickled eggplant and garlic in small serving bowls. (I love garlic pickled in red miso – although unsuspecting people will doubtless be aghast to see me popping the whole cloves. Not to worry – pickling makes garlic sweet, crisp and nutty. No garlic breath afterwards, either.)
Also a note about the pickled eggplant – if you go looking for them in a Japanese store, you’ll find that they are small, round and blue. Don’t ask me what makes them blue. I just know they look weird but taste great.
Grab some dried seaweed and hydrate in a cup of water, then splash on some citrus or basil-infused soy sauce.
The noodles are served in a bowl with a sauce made of soy sauce, broth, and mirin. (We used a pre-made sauce that comes in a bottle. It’s like a syrup that needs to be diluted with water.) Throw on some of the minced ginger and onion and stir it all up with your chopsticks.