August 2011 Blog Matsuri Post: Summer Noodle Lovin’

This is my first Japan Blog Matsuri post.  I have wanted to participate for a long time.  Super Happy Awesome is hosting and you can check out other Matsuri posts in the comments section here. The topic is Summer Lovin’ and this summer I’m lovin’ noodles. Regular readers will know that I have posted several noodle recipes over the last couple of months. That’s because cold noodles are some of my favorite things about summer.  Here are a few things I have made this summer. Click on the picture to go to the post with recipes/ingredient lists.

Yakisoba (not hot but a classic summer bbq menu item)

Soumen

Hiyashi Chuuka

Hiyamugi – my current favorite summer noodle

Hiyamugi are less well known than soumen.  They are a bit thicker and seem to be easy to find in stores.

Soba

First Yakisoba of August

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July and August are BBQ months here in Japan and yakisoba is often the last dish made before packing up. That’s right, for those of you outside Japan, they make a fried noodle dish on the barbecue on a cookie sheet. I won’t be attending any BBQs this year because it is too hot for le akachan. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some yakisoba at home.

In the mix: a homemade tofu burger, carrot, cabbage and green pepper.

Cold Soba, Beans and Chicken

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Cold soba topped with green beans and pan fried chicken breasts (seasoned with salt and pepper). The dressing is home made creamy kinako-sesame-almond. I used the recipe below and with a kinako-sesame almond mix I had.

This was my first time making a creamy salad dressing. I don’t usually even eat creamy salad dressings but I have a soft spot for sesame dressing.  I had always assumed it was basically mayo and sesame seeds and had never looked it up. Tonight I felt like sesame dressing but since I was out and getting a baby ready to go shopping for five minutes seems silly, I looked it up on CookpadCookpad is my go to Japanese recipe site.  I was pleased to find out that you don’t need mayo to make sesame dressing.  I skipped one ingredient because I couldn’t remember how to read the characters and was too lazy to look it up.

Sesame Dressing

Posted on Cookpad by☆凜☆

50mL plain soy milk
1 tablespoon miso
1-2 teaspoons vinegar (go for one)
1+ tablespoons ground white sesame

Put everything in a small jar or salad dressing container and mix (I shook it).  Done and done.

Spinach and Bacon Crustless Tofu Quiche

I make crustless tofu quiche quite often but I have never posted about it.  I change up the fillings all of the time but the base recipe remains the same. This recipe is easily made vegetarian and even vegan.  I prefer tofu to eggs in quiche.

Spinach and Bacon Crustless Tofu Quiche

Serves 4

Base

2 – 350g blocks of soft tofu
1/4 cup flour (I usually use AP)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 onion
1/2 cup cheese of your choice (I usually mix it in to the quiche instead of putting it on top)

Fillings

1 bunch spinach, cut into thin ribbons
6 slices of bacon
1 small tomato, sliced (for topping)

With a whisk or a food processor, whip the tofu until it is fairly smooth.  It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth.  Mix in the flour, garlic powder, salt, soy sauce and cheese (if you don’t want it on top).  You may need to add a splash of water to help it smooth out.  Cut the bacon into small squares and fry in a pan until brown (and crispy if you aren’t using Japanese bacon).  Add the bacon to the tofu mix.  Dice the onion and saute it in the bacon drippings until translucent.  Add the onion to the tofu mix.  Add the spinach to the frying pan and saute until it just becomes limp.  Add to the tofu mix.  Mix everything but the tomato together and put in the baking pan of your choice.  Top with tomato (and cheese if you want) and bake at 180C for 50 minutes.  Let it sit for about ten minutes before you serve.  Tastes even better as leftovers the next day.  You can also bake it in muffin tins for individual snacks.