So this evenings dinner is probably my 2nd favorite food in Japan! Second only to Hamakatsu restaurant's chicken katsu! Kawara Soba is literally translated roof tile soba! One of my FAVORITE things about Japanese houses are the roof tiles! I love the effect of these concave clay tiles laying in perfect rows across a roof top. My favorite ones are the bright blue ones but they come in other tones as well.
If you eat kawara soba at an authentic restaurant, the soba is served on the bottom side of a HOT roof tile (see picture above) which is why they call it roof tile soba! Of course not eating it off of a roof tile will not affect the flavor one single bit and I don't have any extra roof tiles hanging around! So tonight we are whipping out our hot plate and having this simple but delicious meal!
If you live in Japan this recipe is going to be a cinch! At your grocery store in the section where refrigerated noodles are sold, look for this package or one like it. The character for roof is 瓦、so the package will say 瓦そば. Inside this package are the noodles already prepared AND the soup broth! All you have to prepare are the toppings.
If you don't live in Japan but you want to try this, for the noodles you will need
"green tea macha soba noodles"
- I found them at amazon.com here...Kanesu Cha Soba Japanese Matcha Noodles
- At Global Rakuten... Cha Soba Noodles
- If you search more on the internet for "cha soba noodles" or "green tea soba noodles" you may be able to find a better deal!
- Check your local Asian Market as well!
But you know what, regular soba noodles or even udon noodles would be tasty with this recipe!
THE SAUCE - Tsuyu
For the sauce (if you don't have access to the sauce included packages)...
Once again Amazon has it here, Tsuyu. Pay attention to the package directions, some of them are more concentrated than others.
If you want to try to make it on your own, this will get you pretty close to the flavor you want but it won't be the same.
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup mild soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 3 Tbsp cooking sake
- 1 inch of dried kelp (optional)
Combine all of that in a small sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes, set aside.
MOMIJI OROSHI - that pink stuff on top
Also, IF you want to be really authentic, you might want to get your hands on some of this stuff Momiji Oroshi もみじおろし (literally grated maple tree) It isn't really ground maple tree. Actually, it is daikon and Japanese red pepper flakes grated together. I think because the color is so much like Japanese maple, they named it so. The recipe to make this outside of Japan if you want it, is included at the end of this post, however it will still be good without it.
So let's get started...
If you are preparing from dry noodles, boil the noodles acccording to package instructions, drain and set aside for later. We want them to drain well too, so do this first thing! You may even want to cook them slightly underdone because you are going to stir fry a little bit later.
You will need...
- Kawara Soba Noodles with broth (or make it from the recipe above)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 to 1 pound of thinly sliced beef (200-500 grams) depending on how much your family likes meat!
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (not pictured)
- 2 Tbsp cooking sake (not pictured)
- lemon, sliced
- nori (this is totally optional)
- 6-8 thin green onions, chopped into chives
- momiji oroshi
- Prepare the Egg
To prepare the egg, you will need a small non-stick pan. Mine is rectangular in shape but round is fine too
Crack and beat all 3 eggs well in a bowl or large measuring cup, preferably with a pour spout.
Heat the pan on a medium flame (I like to brush just a TINY layer of oil onto the pan with a folded paper towel because mine is old and the non-stick surface is no longer doing his job, someday I'm gonna fire him and find another). Once the pan is hot, turn it down to a low flame.
Pour in about 2 Tbsp of beaten egg, pick up the pan by the handle and swirl it around until the eggs runs all around and it makes a thin layer all over the surface. If there wasn't enough egg to cover the whole surface and little wholes are left, fill in those whole with a little bit more egg. The goal here is to have a thin layer all over the pan. Then put it back over the flame and do not to touch it! Just be patient and let that underside cook. This is the hardest part for me, the suspense always kills me, I want to pick at it, cause it needs my help to cook, right!?
If it starts to bubble, turn your flame down lower!
When the sides start to pull away from the pan and the top looks done (no longer wet), flip it out of the pan onto a cutting board. (You can turn it over and brown the other side if you are extra dilligent, unlike me ;)
Repeat this process until you have a bunch of little thin layers of cooked egg stacked on top of one another like this!
ignore that slice down the middle, that isn't supposed to happen until later ;)
Now let those eggs cool.
2. Okay, now on to the meat which is SUPER easy!
In a frying pan just dump the meat in and cook it! See I told you that was easy! I don't add oil because the meat produces a little of it's own from the fat.
While occassionally stirring that meat, slice a lemon into thin slices and set these aside.
And slice the green onions to make chives. Seperate into about 1/2 cup to use as a topping and the rest for each individual to add to their dipping sauce if they like.
When the meat is done, flavor it with your 2 Tbsp of soy sauce and 2 Tbsp of cooking sake. Stir fry that until most of the liquid is gone and set aside to use as a topping when we are ready to serve..
Now back to the egg which has hopefully cooled enough to handle by now. Cut the stack of layers into a managable size (I cut mine in half).
then I slice to make long thin strips of egg.
Set this aside in a bowl to use as a topping when we are ready to serve.
I like to cut up the nori so it is easier to eat and mix in with everything.
3. Time for the finishing touches.
Now, open your noodle packages or take the prepared noodles that have been drained. Heat your hot plate, medium/high setting (We like to do this right in the middle of the table so the noodles stay hot and get crunchy like they would on the roof tiles at the restaurant, so get our your extension chord and put the hot plate ON your table if you have one. If not, just do it on the stove in a large skillet, and put the skillet right on the table when it's ready.)
If you are using the packaged noodles, just use your hands to pull the noodles apart and put them on the hot surface (you'll notice they are slightly coated in oil to keep them from sticking together in the package, so you don't need any extra oil). If you are using freshly boiled noodles, add about a Tbsp of oil to the pan or hot plate.
Stir fry the noodles until they are heated all the way through and even some places are beginning to get a little crunchy (THIS is the good part)! Turn the setting on your hot plate down, OR take the skillet off the stove and pile on your toppings.
First the meat, spread it out so everybody hopefully gets a little!
Then the egg.
Then the nori if you are using it. You can use it just as is, in large rectangles, OR you can cut it into strips to make it easier to eat (I prefer cutting it). and the 1/2 cup chives you divided after chopping.
Lay lemons on top of that, and the momiji roshi!
Warm the sauce, and put into seperate small bowls for each individual.
I like to add more chives and the momiji oroshi to my sauce too!
and dig in!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is what your hot plate should look like at the end!!!
Below is the home made recipe for the closest thing to momiji oroshi if you can't get the good stuff in from Japan!
Momiji Oroshi recipe
Dice daikon and put it in a blender with 2 tablespoons water, purée. Strain the mixture and drain 5 minutes. Transfer daikon to small bowl. wisk in cayenne pepper and paprika.