Daring Japanese – TDK February Reveal

 The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com

I was pretty excited when I saw that this month’s Daring Cook’s recipe was Japanese. I’m a pretty big fan of any Asian cooking, but I haven’t really gotten into anything specifically Japanese before. Titi and I have had a couple of goes at Sushi (which is really fun!) but there is so much more to the world of Japanese cooking than that. This recipe was super easy, quick and delicious!

I prepared the sauce ahead of time, then when I was ready to cook I just chopped the vegetables, mixed up the tempura and it was all on the table 20mins later!

Lisa really emphasized that it was super important to keep everything really cold until you’re ready to cook it, which I did. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to warm the oven a little and pop the deepfried stuff in there while cooking the rest as some of mine went a little bit cold while waiting. I really encourage  you all to try this, it was sooooo yummy!!

Here’s the recipe for the dipping sauce:

Ingredients
¾ cup 70gm/2½ oz spring onions/green onions/scallions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (4 ⅔ gm) (0.16 oz) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1/8 gm) (0.005 oz) English mustard powder
1 tablespoon (15 ml) grape-seed oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil (if you can’t find this just omit from recipe.)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – roughly 1/3 a teaspoon of each

Put all of the ingredients together in a covered container and shake until the salt is dissolved. Add 2 more tablespsoons of water and shake again. Season again if necessary.

For the Soba Salad you can really let your mind run wild with what you would like to put on top. Just make sure that any vegetables you use are cut up very small, grated or julienne. I used diced green capsicum, spring onion, purple cabbage, wasabi powder and thinly sliced omelette. To cook the noodles, bring a large pot of water to the boil and add your noodles in small bunches. When the water returns to the boil add a cup of cold water. When it boils again add another cup of cold water. When it boils again the noodles should be done. They don’t want to be too soft and squishy. Drain them in a colander and run cold water over them. This is a double benefit; it stops the noodles from cooking any further and also washes the starch off them. To serve arrange in a bowl with your vegetables on top.

Finally… the tempura. I used these vegetables:

And some large green prawns.

Ingredients
1 egg yolk from a large egg
1 cup (240 ml) iced water
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) plain (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dredging
½ cup (120 ml) (70 gm) (2½ oz) cornflour (also called cornstarch)
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (2½ gm) (0.09 oz) baking powder
oil, for deep frying preferably vegetable
ice water bath, for the tempura batter (a larger bowl than what will be used for the tempura should be used. Fill the large bowl with ice and some water, set aside)

Place the iced water into a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the egg yolk and gradually pour into the iced water, stirring (preferably with chopsticks) and blending well. Add flours and baking powder all at once, stroke a few times with chopsticks until the ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be runny and lumpy. Place the bowl of batter in an ice water bath to keep it cold while you are frying the tempura. The batter as well as the vegetables and seafood have to be very cold. The temperature shock between the hot oil and the cold veggies help create a crispy tempura.

Dip the veges or seafood into some flour before coating in the tempura batter and dropping into the hot oil. The oil is ready for cooking when after dropping a drop of batter in it sinks then rises to the top. Fry your veges is small batches so that the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop too much.

Serve the tempura veges on the side of the soba salad with dipping sauce. Delicious summer meal!

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3 Comments on “Daring Japanese – TDK February Reveal”

  1. Leilani says:

    Yummm!!!! This looks amazing Sam, I adore Japanese food. Talk about domestic goddess!.. xoxox

  2. Kyle says:

    AHHH, I want to make this!!! The sauce sounds so easy, but the tempura part…I don’t know. Probably wouldn’t end up very good if I tried. Your version looks amazing!

  3. cafetisa says:

    Thanks Ladies! You should definitely be DARING and give it a go! The tempura is seriously not that hard.. the key is keeping it cold and keeping your oil hot (and don’t over mix it). But besides that the sauce is amazing just with the soba salad. For way better instructions hit up thedaringkitchen.com :)


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