As Cas mentioned, we hosted a little dinner party on Saturday. Since then Illyna has been pestering me (well she asked twice anyway) for the recipe for the soup. A friend of mine gave me this recipe while she was living in Japan. She claimed it had no proper name and called it soba soup. We also nicknamed it ‘murder by mochi’ as apparently it causes several deaths each year, when elderly people get large chunks of mochi stuck in their throats.
portion of soba noodles per person
5-7 parts dashi stock
2 parts soy sauce
1 part mirin
pinch of red pepper spice
toppings (chopped) – spring onions, boiled egg, spinach
1. Boil the soba as per packet instructions. If using egg as a topping the eggs can be boiled in the same saucepan with the soba.
2. Drain the soba and plunge into a bowl of cold water.
3. Fry the mochi in medium size pieces until brown on both sides.
4. Make the dashi stock.
5. Mix the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and red pepper spice together and bring to the boil.
6. Drain and add the soba, bring back to the boil.
7. Chop the toppings.
8. Divide the soba and mochi between individual bowls, pour over stock and add one or more toppings.
Dashi – seafood stock, can sometimes find it in asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it use vegetable or chicken stock and add a dash or two of Thai fish sauce (nam pla).
Mirin – sweet rice wine, can get it in Waitrose or asian supermarkets.
Red pepper spice – I’m not entirely sure what this is as my friend brought it with her. It adds a little extra heat and spiceyness to the soup, so I’m pretty sure you’ll get the same effect with a pinch of crushed chilli flakes.
Mochi – odd, glutinous Japanese rice cake that’s very sticky and difficult to chew. Cas liked it, but I’m not a fan. It can be found in asian supermarkets.
Okay, that’s the basic recipe. I usually leave out the mochi as I can’t always find it here, and as I said, I’m not a fan. It works just as well without. You may need to replace some of the ingredients with British versions and some of the amounts are a little vague, but it’s the kind of recipe where that really doesn’t matter.
Is it a genuine Japanese recipe? Who knows. Tastey though.