Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The cool delight of soba and silken tofu

Since summer has finally arrived in Vermont over the last week or so, I've been trying to plan meals that don't involve much application of heat, or at least whose cooked components can be cooked in the relatively cooler morning. Especially I've been enjoying the wonderful versatility of having cold cooked soba (Japanese buckwheat) noodles in the fridge.

Classically, they can just be rinsed off (to remove excess starch) and then served cold with a dipping sauce, which is very good, but they also make a great base for salads. Here, they're tossed with shredded lettuce, sesame seeds and toasted sesame oil, then drizzled with a mixture of 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) and 1 part rice vinegar.

For the main protein for the meal, I opened up my favorite kind of silken tofu — the Mori-Nu boxes which have a shelf life in the pantry of a couple of months — topped with well-drained tuna packed in water (I discovered a few cans of white albacore in the pantry — from one of the rare shopping trips entrusted to H, no doubt, as I would not myself splurge on such a luxury — but it did taste exceedingly good), drizzled with the soy-mirin-rice vinegar mixture and then garnished with chopped scallions. Not exactly a recipe, but a delicious summer meal.

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