Ok so in the past I’ve gotten bad about feeling the need to do some intense diet and exercising for the new year. I usually lose weight for a while, but end up feeling restricted, overworked, and not very happy by Summer. Instead for 2020 I’m going with a goal of “happy food.” I aim to cook what’s making me happy in that moment no matter how weird or out of my normal culinary zone it may be. I’m on a new path of chasing after happy dances.
That being said, like many of you this holiday season got me jacked up. Spiked hot cocoa, tons of red meat, and all the latkes I can eat are really cool, but I needed a major reset button to start 2020 feeling fresh and clean.
One of my favorite things to have in the morning is a huge mug of matcha to get me perked up and ready to go, which was the jump off point of this dish. The surrealistic pondscape consists of some of my favorite clean flavors: salmon, cucumber, nori, roe, and dashi. The effect is a really cool combination of oceany flavors from the fish and dashi with the earthiness of matcha to create something that feels very nature inspired.
Even though we’re in the middle of winter the lightness and freshness of this dish can’t help but make me feel like spring is around the corner. Another cool perk is it can be served at any temperature and still work.
- 6 cups water
- Matcha Noodles (recipe follows) or soba to sub
- 2 sheets kombu (check Asian markets or Whole Foods, but markets have it cheaper)
- 1 cup bonito flakes (same as the kombu)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
- 1 individual portion of sashimi grade salmon, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 cucumber, grated
- 1 sheet nori finely sliced
- Togarashi (optional)
- Salmon roe, tobiko, or masago (optional but very nice)
Combine the water, kombu, bonito flakes, soy sauce, and mirin in a large pot over high heat. If you have something you could put the bonito in for like a big tea diffuser effect I suggest you do that. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour. If you’re making the matcha noodles make them while the broth simmers. Refrigerate the broth until ready to serve if you’re serving the dish cold.
While the broth is simmering or chilling cook your noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water. For soba cook according to package directions, for homemade matcha noodles cook for about 90 seconds, and then drain.
For serving: assemble your noodles into a nest in a flat bowl. Add your salmon, cucumber and nori into the nest. Top with togarashi and whichever roe, if any, that you’re using. Finally pour a couple ladlefuls of broth into the bowl. You want to keep the liquid fairly shallow. The broth here is more of an additional flavor component and sauce vs. a noodle soup.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1/2 cup matcha
- 4 large whole eggs, beaten
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten in with the whole eggs
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- A splash water
- A splash olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, matcha, and salt. Create a well in the bowl and add the eggs, water, soy sauce, and oil into it. Mix the dry into the wet with either your hands or a fork until a shaggy, scrappy looking dough starts to form. Dust your work surface with flour and turn your dough out onto it. Knead the dough until it comes together into one solid mass. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
If you’re using a pasta sheeter and cutter then cut the dough into 6-8 chunks. For each chunk roll them through the 1 setting, fold it onto itself twice, and roll through again. Repeat this step one to two more times. Roll it through to either the 4 or 5 setting on your sheeter. Once all your sheets are made dust them with flour and then roll through a spaghetti cutter.
If you are rolling out by hand my initial instruction is good luck. But for real, get the dough rolled as thinly as you can, and then fold it onto itself and slice it like you would a swiss roll cake in a thickness that mimics spaghetti.
These noodles only take about 90 seconds to cook.