Otsu (Soba Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing)

Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.

Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.

While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about ? cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6.

PRINT RECIPE
JULY 19, 2004

Soba Salad with Rhubarb-Ginger Tahini

(adapted from Otsu Recipe on 101 Cookbooks)

Dressing (makes more than what you need for the recipe, but nice to keep around):

1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons (or more;) Brooklyn Delhi Rhubarb Ginger Achaar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini paste

Soba noodle salad
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 oz baked tofu or 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed (directions below)
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 scallion, green and white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in half lengthwise then cut across into thin half-moons.
sesame seeds
more cilantro for garnishing

If using extra firm tofu: Add tofu to a large non-stick skillet without any oil and toss over high heat until all water has evaporated. Add canola oil, reduce heat to medium-high and fry, tossing frequently until tofu is firm and bouncy. Drain over paper towels.

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients. Blend well. Add tahini and blend together.

In a large mixing bowl combine drained soba noodles, cilantro, scallions, cucumber. Slowly add dressing and toss Add more dressing to your taste. Arrange salad in center of large plate and top with baked or fried tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs. Serve with more dressing on the table just in case!

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

4 egg whites and 2 egg yolks from 4 large eggs, separated and chilled
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons cake flour
1/4 cup milk, chilled
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Unsalted butter, for greasing and serving
Maple syrup, for serving
Confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and fresh berries, for serving (optional)

Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium bowl; set aside. Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, the vanilla and baking powder to egg yolks and whisk until blended. Add flour and milk; whisk until fully combined.

Add lemon juice and salt to egg whites. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip mixture on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Continue to whip over medium while gradually sprinkling with remaining 5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Turn speed to high and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture doubles in size, about 1 minute. Take care not to overbeat meringue.

Heat a lidded nonstick skillet over the lowest heat setting and set the lid aside.

Using a rubber spatula, scoop about 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk mixture and gently fold almost combined. Repeat with half the remaining meringue until almost combined, then fold in the remaining meringue just until no streaks remain.

Carefully grease the warm skillet and the inside of four 3-inch-wide pastry rings (they should be at least 1 1/2 inches tall) using the butter. Check the heat of the pan by sprinkling a bit of water in it: Droplets should steam off the surface, but not dance or sputter. Place the greased pastry rings in the warm pan and ladle a scant 1/2 cup batter into each ring. Place lid on top of skillet and cook pancakes on very low heat until they start to rise and a few small bubbles start to form on top, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove lid, carefully slide a flat spatula underneath each pancake and position another spatula on top, then gently flip pancakes in their rings. Immediately replace lid and cook until pancakes are cooked through and spring back to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a platter, grease the skillet and pastry rings and repeat to make 4 additional pancakes.

Top pancakes with a pat of butter and drizzle with maple syrup; serve immediately. Serve with any combination of confectioners’ sugar, whipped cream and berries, if desired.

Alison’s Edamame

1 bag frozen edamame

Sauce:
3 tablespoons chili paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch of sugar to taste
Dash of black vinegar to taste
Dash of toasted sesame oil to taste

Steam or boil edamame until just done.

Mix sauce ingredients to taste.

Serve edamame with sauce on the side.

Miso-Sesame Steak Marinade

3 tablespoons red miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into 5- to 6-inch pieces, patted dry
2 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
5 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Measure 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add the steak to the remaining mixture, turn to coat and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, to the reserved 2 teaspoons, stir in the vinegar and 3 teaspoons of the grapeseed oil, then set aside.

Remove the steak from the bowl an pat dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil until barely smoking. Add half the steak in a single layer and cook without disturbing until well browned and the center of the thickest piece reaches 125°F for medium-rare, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, then repeat with the remaining steak, using the fat in the pan. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Stir any accumulated juices on the platter into the reserved miso mixture. Cut the steak against the grain on the bias into thin slices and return to the platter. Serve with the miso sauce.

Miso-Marinated Skirt Steak

3 tablespoons red miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into 5- to 6-inch pieces, patted dry
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
5 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic until the sugar dissolves. Measure 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add the steak to the remaining mixture, turn to coat and let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to the reserved 2 teaspoons, add the vinegar and 3 teaspoons of the oil. Stir to combine and set aside. Remove the steak from the bowl and pat dry with paper towels.

In a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil until beginning to smoke. Add half of the steak in a single layer and cook without disturbing until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip the pieces and cook until the second sides are well browned and the center of the thickest piece reaches 125°F for medium-rare or 130°F for medium, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter, then repeat with the remaining steak, using the fat in the pan. Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Stir any accumulated juices on the platter into the reserved miso mixture. Cut the steak against the grain on the bias into thin slices and return to the platter. Serve with the miso sauce.

Pressure Cooker Japanese Curry

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups onion sliced thick
4 red potatoes quartered
2 carrots chopped thick
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 package Japanese (or House Vermont) Curry Paste (6 squares)
1/2 cup coconut milk

Add all ingredients except the coconut milk into the inner liner of your pressure cooker. Place the curry paste on the top to prevent scorching.

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, and then release pressure quickly.
Stir well and mix in the coconut milk, stirring until well incorporated.

Serve with rice or noodles, or with a side salad.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Carrot-Ginger Dressing

1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, or more to taste
5 tablespoons peeled ginger, chopped to measure
3 medium carrots, scrubbed
1/2 of a serrano pepper, stemmed, or to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon miso (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup / 60 ml brown rice vinegar
4 medium shallots, peeled (or less if your shallots are strong)

Puree the coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, carrots, pepper, olive oil, salt, toasted sesame oil, miso, maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, and shallots in a blender until very smooth. Taste, and adjust, if needed, with more salt or vinegar, or any other ingredient you think might need a little boost.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Miso Sambal

(Adapted for hard boiled eggs)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chili sauce, such as sambal
2 tablespoons red or white miso paste

In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the garlic and chili sauce to the hot oil, and cook until combined and fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the miso and mix together for another minute.

Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the spicy miso mixture over the edamame. Toss to coat, and serve immediately.

Ideas for Egg Lunches: Sesame Oil and Sambal Oelek

(Adapted for hard boiled eggs)

1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons sambal olek
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 scallions

Treat your soba noodles as you would any pasta. Cook the noodles in a pot of salted, boiling water until tender, about five minutes. Strain noodles and transfer to medium-large bowl. Drizzle in about one tablespoon of sesame oil until you notice that the noodles give off an oily sheen from being well-coated. Pop that bowl in the refrigerator and forget about it until the noodles have chilled out.

While those soba noodles are chilling, combine about 1 tablespoon of ginger and 1 tablespoon of garlic in a small to medium-sized bowl. Add Indonesian hot sauce sambal oelek to that (about 1½ tablespoons) along with around two tablespoons soy sauce, two tablespoons mirin, two tablespoons lime juice, two tablespoons sesame oil, one tablespoon sesame seeds, and the sliced crunchy white-green bottoms of two or three scallions (save the green parts for the next step). Whisk to combine.

Remove the chilled soba noodles from the refrigerator and add half of the freshly whisked sauce and toss. Add the other half, along with the sliced green-only tops of two to three scallions. Make sure the noodles are generously coated in the spicy-sweet-salty-nutty dressing, and serve with sesame seeds and a sprinkle of whatever remaining scallion slices you have left.

Miso-Glazed Japanese Eggplant

4 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 T neutral oil
1/4 C red miso
2 T mirin
+ sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 450°F. (Lazy power move: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup supereasy.)
 
Slick the eggplants all over with oil and arrange them cut-side up on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes—they should be barely wilted, a very light roast.

Meanwhile, whisk together the miso and mirin in a small bowl.
 
Smear the cut side of the eggplants with the miso mixture and roast until the eggplants are tender and the miso is browned and bubbling, 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

This is one of those center-of-the-plate types of vegetable preparations that can easily supplant meat. (Serve it with short-grain rice and any of the pickles in this book, or with store-bought kimchi.) The eggplants take on a super-rich caramelly umami flavor. It’s a standard Japanese response to the part of the summer when there’s more eggplant around than anyone knows what to do with, and it works very well on a grill—just put the eggplants over a low-to-medium fire, so the miso doesn’t burn too fast and the flesh of the eggplant has time to cook all the way through.

Cold Sesame Soba Noodles

1 package soba noodles
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons sambal olek
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 scallions

Treat your soba noodles as you would any pasta. Cook the noodles in a pot of salted, boiling water until tender, about five minutes. Strain noodles and transfer to medium-large bowl. Drizzle in about one tablespoon of sesame oil until you notice that the noodles give off an oily sheen from being well-coated. Pop that bowl in the refrigerator and forget about it until the noodles have chilled out.

While those soba noodles are chilling, combine about 1 tablespoon of ginger and 1 tablespoon of garlic in a small to medium-sized bowl. Add Indonesian hot sauce sambal oelek to that (about 1½ tablespoons) along with around two tablespoons soy sauce, two tablespoons mirin, two tablespoons lime juice, two tablespoons sesame oil, one tablespoon sesame seeds, and the sliced crunchy white-green bottoms of two or three scallions (save the green parts for the next step). Whisk to combine.

Remove the chilled soba noodles from the refrigerator and add half of the freshly whisked sauce and toss. Add the other half, along with the sliced green-only tops of two to three scallions. Make sure the noodles are generously coated in the spicy-sweet-salty-nutty dressing, and serve with sesame seeds and a sprinkle of whatever remaining scallion slices you have left.

Japanese Pickled Cucumbers with Seaweed

2 English hothouse or 8 Persian cucumbers, sliced crosswise 1/4″ thick
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/3 cup Pacific Arame seaweed
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave syrup (nectar)
1 tsp Shaoxing or other rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Toss cucumbers and salt in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then squeeze well to remove as much excess moisture as possible.

Meanwhile, place seaweed in a small bowl and add warm water to cover. Let soak until softened, about 5 minutes; drain and squeeze out excess moisture.

Whisk vinegar, agave, and wine in a medium bowl. Add cucumbers, seaweed, and sesame seeds and toss to coat.

DO AHEAD: Cucumbers can be salted and rinsed 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Edamame with Miso Sambal

1 pound frozen edamame in their pods
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chili sauce, such as sambal
2 tablespoons red or white miso paste

Prepare the edamame according to the package instructions, or until just steamed through. Transfer the cooked edamame to a serving bowl.
In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the garlic and chili sauce to the hot oil, and cook until combined and fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the miso and mix together for another minute.

Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the spicy miso mixture over the edamame. Toss to coat, and serve immediately.

Ramen Salad with Steak

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 easpoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
8 ounces dried ramen noodles (flavor packet discarded)
Kosher salt
12 ounces thinly sliced cooked boneless steak (such as New York strip steak)
1 small kohlrabi, peeled, cut into matchsticks
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
1/4 cup crushed salted, roasted cashews
1 tablespoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns

Whisk lemon juice, soy sauce, tahini, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Gradually add vegetable oil followed by sesame oil, whisking constantly until emulsified; set aside.

Cook noodles in a large saucepan of boiling salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain; rinse under cold water, then drain again.

Toss noodles, steak, kohlrabi, scallions, cabbage, and cilantro in a large bowl with three-quarters of reserved dressing to combine and evenly coat; season with salt. Top with cashews and Sichuan peppercorns and drizzle remaining dressing over.
Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Wasabi Flank Steak with Miso-Glazed Potatoes

2 tablespoons wasabi powder
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons drained horseradish
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
One 2-pound flank steak
4 teaspoons canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 bunch watercress, stemmed

Preheat the oven to 450 and preheat a cast-iron grill pan. In a bowl, combine the wasabi and water. Stir in the horseradish and soy sauce. Rub the steak with 1 teaspoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the steak over high heat until lightly charred, 5 minutes. Flip the steak and spread the wasabi over the charred side.

Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the steak for 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135° for medium-rare; transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan of boiling water, cook the potatoes for 15 minutes. Drain and let cool, then peel. Wipe out the saucepan. Add the remaining oil and the potatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes. Combine the miso and mirin; add to the potatoes and cook, stirring, until glazed, about 2 minutes.

Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve with the potatoes and watercress.

Katsudon

2 center-cut, boneless pork chops, pounded down to a centimeter thick
salt and pepper
flour, for dusting
1 egg
1 cup panko
oil, for frying
½ cup dashi stock or chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Mirin
2 large eggs
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 servings steamed white rice
1 scallion, chopped

Season the pounded pork chops with salt and pepper, and dust with a light, even coating of flour. In one shallow bowl, beat the egg. Put the panko into another shallow bowl.

Add thin, even layer of oil to a cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat. The oil is ready when you throw a panko breadcrumb into the oil and it sizzles. Dip the pork into the egg to coat. Transfer the pork to the panko and press it evenly into the meat to get a good coating.

Carefully lay the pork chops in the hot oil and cook for 5-6 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 5-6 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.

While the pork is resting, add the stock, sugar, soy sauce, and Mirin to a small bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Add a tablespoon of oil to a pan over medium heat, and add the sliced onion. Fry the onions until they’re translucent and slightly caramelized.

Pour the stock mixture over the onions. Slice your tonkatsu into pieces and place on top of the onions. Drizzle the egg over everything. Cook over medium low heat until the egg is just set. Serve over bowls of steamed rice, and garnish with scallions.

Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowls)

2/3 cup dashi stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 large eggs, beaten
Steamed medium grain rice
1 scallion, chopped

In a non-stick frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add the dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Bring to a boil.

Add the chicken, and simmer in the stock for 10 minutes. Spread the sliced onion over the chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour the beaten egg over the top, and simmer, covered for 2-3 minutes, until cooked but slightly runny.
Serve over freshly steamed rice and garnish with chopped scallions.

Katsudon

1/3 cup (80ml) dashi, or 1/3 cup (80ml) water mixed with 3/4 teaspoon Hondashi
1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15ml) sake
2 teaspoons (8g) sugar
2 teaspoons (10ml) mirin
4 ounces thinly sliced yellow onion (115g; about 1/2 medium onion), optional
1 leftover Japanese fried chicken or pork cutlet, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
2 large eggs
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
Steamed white or brown rice, for serving

Combine dashi, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin in a small saucepan or donburi pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

If using onion, add to broth and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add sliced fried cutlet and let simmer for 1 minute.

Meanwhile, beat together eggs and scallions in a small bowl.

Pour egg mixture on top of cutlet and around broth. Cover and cook until eggs are as set as you’d like them, about 1 minute for very soft or 2 minutes for medium.

Slide broth, egg, and chicken out on top of a bowl of rice. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.