Japanese Soba Noodles (Zaru Soba) with Tempura
CourseAppetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Main IngredientPasta & Noodles, Seafood, Vegetables
- Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 ounces Japanese dried fish flakes Kezuri-bushi
- 1 cup San-J Gluten Free Tamari
- 1 cup mirin
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste optional
- Tempura Ingredients:
- 2 ¼ all-purpose flour sifted
- 2 cups iced water this must be very cold
- 1 extra large egg beaten
- 8 jumbo prawns deveined, heads and shell removed, tails intact
- vegetables of your choice and season see note below
- vegetable oil for frying
- Noodle Ingredients:
- 14 ounces dried soba noodles
- 4 spring onions finely sliced
- Prepare the dipping sauce by combining the first 5 sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Whisk gently over medium heat until the sauce boils. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook on medium-low for another 3 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth or paper towel. Place the sauce in a sealable plastic container and refrigerate to chill.
- To make the tempura, place the sifted flour in a chilled, medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine the iced water and egg and pour over the flour. Stir just until combined. The tempura will be slightly lumpy. Do not whisk until smooth!
- Pour the vegetable oil into a deep fryer or wok to a depth of 2 inches. Heat on high heat, using a thermometer to measure the heat of the oil. When the oil reaches 350°F, the oil is hot enough to be used for the tempura. Using an oven mitt or protective glove, dip a few of the prawns into the batter and place them into the hot oil. Add only a few pieces of the fish to the oil at a time so that the temperature is not reduced and the fryer or wok does not become crowded. As the prawns turn golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes total, remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Place the cooked prawns on a warm platter and keep warm.
- Prepare the vegetable tempura in the same manner as the prawns by dipping your choice of vegetables into the batter and deep frying in small batches. Maintain the proper temperature and remove any extra batter that accumulates in the oil. Most vegetables will be cooked tender-crisp within 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the type of vegetables you choose and the size of each piece of tempura. Check the first piece of tempura by removing it from the oil and cutting it open to determine whether or not it is cooked as desired. If not fully cooked, increase the frying time for the remainder of the vegetables, testing the vegetables occasionally as the tempura fries. Remove the cooked tempura vegetables with a slotted spoon, drain and keep warm with the prawns.
- Prepare the soba noodles as directed, cooking al dente according to the package instructions (about 5 minutes in boiling water). Drain and cool under cold running water.
- To assemble, prepare 4 small, individual serving plates. Divide the cold noodles evenly among the plates. Sprinkle the noodles with the spring onions. Place the optional wasabi in a small bowl. On 4 additional accompanying small plates, divide the tempura prawns and vegetables among the plates. In 4 small bowls, divide the chilled dipping sauce. Provide chopsticks for each diner. Using the chopsticks, each diner may mix some wasabi in their dipping sauce for a little spiciness, as desired. Use chopsticks to dip the noodles and/or tempura in the dipping sauce.
- Note: Use sweet potatoes, carrots, asparagus (trimmed), whole green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash and/or Asian eggplant – cut into ¼-inch thick slices or florets . Plan on preparing enough vegetables to serve 6 to 8 vegetable pieces per person.