A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Self-Portrait with Soba

Yesterday was Lawson's birthday. I knew I wanted to make him some carrot cake, because I only recently found out he is a big fan of it (who knew? I have always thought of carrot cake as really lame.) So I made some carrot cake and decided that homemade, with lots of nutmeg and trustworthy raisins, it's pretty okay, though still not favorite-worthy.

Anyway, at the grocery store Saturday I bought some wonderful fresh tuna. Good fresh fish is so rare here that I rearranged all birthday meal plans in order to cook it right away. And I knew exactly what I had to make with it: soba noodles. From scratch. I might have gone a lifetime happily buying soba noodles from the store, but my friend Ken (the one who works at the mill) gave me some soba flour last month, and I had to use it for something. I swear, these grain gifts from Ken force me into overambitious food experiments -- I suppose that's a good thing.

We do not have a good Japanese cookbook. I looked up soba noodle recipes online and learned that I'd need to use part wheat flour and part soba flour -- buckwheat has no gluten -- but never found an authoritative recipe. I ended up using 1.5 cups of wheat flour, 1.5 cups of soba flour, two eggs, salt, and water. The dough was nice and easy to roll out, but the noodles were a little firm and bland. So next time I think I will use a larger proportion of soba flour.

I tried to cut the noodles by hand according to some instructions I found online, but I abandoned that pretty quickly and pulled out the hand-cranked pasta maker.

Ronnie pulled down a noodle and ate it:


Kris said...

Lucky Ronnie. Food she can play with.

Did you put cream cheese frosting on that carrot cake? I like the idea of carrot cake, but since I first tried pumpkin cake I like it a lot better. Nutritionally they would be pretty close (ha--me worrying about the nutritional content of cake! It's an obsession.)

Eva said...

There was about a half-ton of cream cheese frosting on the carrot cake!

I've always liked chocolate zucchini cake the best of the vegetable-based desserts.

Mark Richardson said...


I am getting to know soba these days. The Japanese eat it cold in the summer. But come to think of it I am not sure that I've had it made fresh, the noodles I mean. I usually snag a sort of kit from the 7-Eleven: noodles w/ little packs of broth & wasabi & minced scallion.

As my Pop used to say, "You done flung a craving on me." I am out for soba tonight. So could you please just maybe Fedex a vacuum pack of your fresh noodles to Kyoto?

This 'blog covers one heck of a field. It is a little globe of cookery.