Soba sushi

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soba on nori-1
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sushi roll-1

My new cheat way to eat wasabi! Sushi with soba. Because I love wasabi but you can’t really just spoon it in, can you? It needs a home. So when you are in the mood for sushi and wasabi and don’t want to go through the whole sushi rice thing (soaking, rinsing the rice, cooling, sugar, vinegar, etc), try the soba noodle version. These hearty, nutritious noodles cook in 4 minutes. The only drawback is the arranging on the nori sheets as these are noodles, not rice that you can simply mush into place. I have read that a good technique to keep the bunches of soba tied with a string while cooking. Then the noodles are perfectly aligned for placing elegantly on nori sheets for rolling. I didn’t have any string to hand in my kitchen and I wasn’t about to go trudging upstairs to look for string so I just cooked them. And I ended up testing for how easy it is to make soba noodle sushi with clumps of noodles instead of perfectly arranged uniform rows of noodles. Turns out it’s fine. Just cut the ends off carefully.

Ingredients for three sushi rolls

2 bundles dried buckwheat soba noodles
1 small cucumber or persian cucumber
1/2 to 3/4 red pepper
1 carrot
sushi nori sheets

Dipping sauce*
1 small piece of dried kelp (about the size of your palm or smaller)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup good soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
3 tsp mirin

wasabi

* simply use soy sauce and wasabi if you like

1) Boil water and cook the soba noodles according to instructions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
2) Prep the veggies by grating the carrot or using a carrot peeler to slice finely. Slice and julienne the red pepper and cucumber the same way.
3) Place the sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat. When the noodles are cooked and rinsed, lay out a good portion on a sheet of nori. A bit more than half of the bundle.
4) Layer the thinly sliced vegetables on top.
5) Using the bamboo rolling mat and your fingers to hold everything in place, roll the bottom bit of the nori sheet over all the noodles and vegetables and tuck in tightly. Then continue rolling the sushi roll until it is completely packaged all together. Set aside, seam side down and let rest for a few minutes. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets and noodles.

To make the dipping sauce

1) Boil the water and dried kelp and then let simmer for about 15 minutes.
2) Let cool, remove kelp and add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together.

Wet a good, sharp knife and cleanly slice the sushi roll as uniformly as you can. Carefully cut the ends of the noodles poking out of the sushi roll. Serve with the dipping sauce in a small bowl with wasabi on the side.

Vegan radish kim chi (kkakdugi)

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radish kimchi

I love cabbage kimchi but another popular recipe is Korean radish kimchi, or kkakdugi (깍두기). I know a few people who prefer these spicy, crunchy cubes of radish above all other kimchis. It is usually made with the same pickling marinade as napa cabbage kimchi but I find it a lot easier to make. Admission: so far my vegan napa cabbage kimchi hasn’t turned out as well as I would like. The first time I made it, I didn’t salt the cabbage for long enough (overnight is recommended) and the second time I made it, after a week it tasted a little vinegary. So I consider radish kimchi just a perfect place to start the for the kimchi noobs.

First things first—you must have a few things to hand before you begin:
makes a medium batch of kimchi—enough for 3 or 4 meals
A large bowl
A large strainer
1/2 cup Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
1 large or 2 small Korean radish (about 2 lbs of radish)
1 tsp fresh ginger
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup (or more) soy sauce
2-3 green onion, sliced thinly
1-2 tsp rice flour (or plain flour in a pinch)
1/4 cup water

**Disclaimer! You may need to make this recipe a few times to really get it down as there are a few variables, such as 1) how salty or sweet you like your kim chi and 2) how spicy you like it. When salting the radish, if you add a lot of salt, it will be salty, no matter how much you rinse the radish. Likewise, you do not want to undersalt it. Go chu gar u red chili powder is the agent of fiery spice so you may not want to add in the entire 1/2 cup (or you may want to add more). Unfortunately, you will have to figure this out for yourself.

1) Begin by peeling the radish and cubing it.
2) Pour over 1/2 cup of coarse sea salt and mix with your hands. Let sit for about 40 minutes to an hour, mixing a few times with your hands. Then rinse and strain several times in cold water to rinse off as much salt as you can. I recommend you even soak in cold water for a few minutes and then rinse several times.
3) To make the chili paste, heat up the water and stir in the rice flour until mixed. Simmer gently on low heat until it starts to thicken slightly and then turn the heat off and let cool. Add in the gochugaru to make a thickish chili paste.
4) Mince the garlic and ginger, then add the green onion (I had to use chives in a pinch), sugar and soy sauce. Add to this the chili paste and combine thoroughly.
5) Mix about 3/4 of the paste into the radish in a large bowl with your hands. You may want to wear plastic gloves just in case. If you do use a spoon, make sure to mix together well. Taste and add the rest of the chili paste if you think it needs to be more spicy.
6) Put into an airtight container in the fridge. It may taste a little salty at first but as it pickles and more juices come out from the radish, it will become less salty. I thought it tasted perfect after a week.

radishcubed and saltedgo chu ga rupaste ingredientsmixed pastemixingfinished

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