A very special first time ever treat for you all,
************a spiceblog original joke!!!!!!!!**********
Noodle: Another vodka tonic and make it snappy!
Barman: Are you always this rude?
Noodle: Well if you think this is bad, you should see me when I’m soba.
************* : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : )**********
Soba is a greyish Japanese noodle made either mostly or entirely of buckwheat (soba) and water. Friend to vegetarians and the gluten intolerant, it also makes for a great train platform or highway service area snack and is marvellous cold with a soy/dashi/wasabi based dipping sauce.
Quite easy to buy dried but flush from successes with making fresh pasta, I thought I’d make some. The gear used to make it is fabulous. Traditionally the soba dough is rolled out with a long wooden pin on a large wooden board. They also use large red and black wooden bowls for mixing. All very stylish and the soba knives are the coolest things ever and it saddens me they aren’t seen more in hand to hand combat with heads fortuitously rolling into soba mixing bowls flecking buckwheat flour with crimson or perhaps a show tune with the rolling pins as canes. Alternatively you could say hello to the BandoTaro. I used my pasta roller.
Not the best occasion to make it, back from the shops at 5:15, unshowered from a run, and having decided barely an hour area that we’d be having a BBQ for 10 for Toni’s family at ours at 6. She came back in after sweeping the outdoors area to find me covered in flour, what was I doing, “making noodles”. I got the look. Ah well it was just a matter of bunging out a coleslaw as well.
The crabs are Shark Bay blue swimmer/ blue manna crabs after our crabbing trio in Mandurah didn’t eventuate due to conditions inclement.
The mix of buckwheat to wheat flour can vary but commonly it’s 80/20 respectively with the gluten in the wheat binding it together. Pure buckwheat soba is possible but this site recommended starting with 50/50. My balance was about two thirds to one third and then alternating between buckwheat and wheat flour to get the dough to sufficient dryness. Start with a third as much water as flour and mix and then add water until it’s “as soft as an earlobe”. Knead for five minutes, wrap with gladwrap and put in the fridge for an hour.
It’s a beautiful thing to work with. The buckwheat has a strong smell which makes it feel more alive than dough and it feels softer and pliable. This may be an illusion caused by its stone like appearance.
As with pasta, make sure the dough is well coated with flour to prevent it sticking in the roller. You just need to roll it out to a “3” and then pass it through the spaghetti cutter in foot long lengths.
Cook in plenty of boiling water for two minutes or less, it shouldn’t be soft, and refresh under cool water and chill. You can actually drink the cooking liquid as a tea and it’s quite refreshing.
This salad came into my head, the sources of which are unknown but I had a vague feeling from somewhere. What convinced me it wasn’t the whispers of malevolent demons or mischievous faeries was that lemons are good with seafood, chilli has made a fine partner with lemon in previous pasta sauces, and the oil would add a certain slipperiness. I had thought nuts and coriander but decided against as the latter would have made it too busy and that buckwheat is already “nutty” of sorts for the former.
Remove the flesh from 4 crabs and flake into small pieces. Finely chop half a largish red chilli (remove the seeds). Finely chop the rind of one lemon (you can use a zester or grate it). Add the juice of one lemon and an equal amount of EVOO. Mix together the soba, crab, and dressing and serve.
Refreshing but really I prefer more traditional combinations of Charcoal Cooked Crabs, Cold Soba, and assorted Tempura. I also felt the noodles had been cooked too long and lacked that bit of chewiness that makes really good soba, thicker noodles would have helped here. A good start though and if you used dried soba, this would be extremely quick and easy to make.
Many thanks Amy for hosting.
Roundup! More noodles: Cooking with Amy: A Food Blog: IMBB 22 Use Your Noodle Part 1, 2, 3 & 4