On a recent business trip to Texas, my hubby was lucky enough to visit Asian World Market in Plano. He sent me the ultimate care package of interesting spices he found during his vist. The box weighed FOURTEEN pounds!! I was more excited than a kid in a candy store when I opened this box. This is my first recipe using some of these awesome new ingredients.
I really need to get better about naming my recipes, this one is soba with crispy tempeh and vegetables. These new spices are a wonderful addition to my cooking arsenal and provide new, interesting flavors!
To start, I preheated the oven to 425* to crisp the tempeh. To flavor the tempeh some, I simmered it in four cups of water with one-quarter cup of low sodium soy sauce over low heat for twenty minutes. After it simmered, I took it out and cut it into squares. It went into a baking dish oiled with sesame oil. I cooked it for about twenty minutes in the oven until it crisped up nicely. This was one eight ounce package.
While the tempeh was cooking, I boiled approximately three quarts of well salted water. An eight ounce package of mugwort soba (love the color!!) went into the pot and cooked for approximately ten minutes…just follow the package directions. Once the soba is done, if you are still working on the rest strain and toss with sesame oil so it doesn’t stick.
While the soba was cooking, I started some onion, four cloves of garlic (sliced) and about a two inch piece of ginger (sliced) sauteeing in some sesame oil in a skillet. When they just started to soften, they joined four cups of vegetable broth in a small pot.
Next I sauteed about two cups of mixed mushrooms (sliced) in the same skillet. For this I used shitakes, mitakes and cremini mushrooms. Along with them I added a red sweet pepper and an orange sweet pepper (both sliced). When they were happily browned and starting to soften, they went in to the pot as well.
Here’s where the fun new spices came in!!! I added about two teaspoons of chinese prickly ash and salt, two tablespoons of aji nori furikake (which I browned quickly in that same skillet) two teaspoons of dried chili flowers (which are so pretty as well as tasty!).
At this point, the tempeh which is nice and brown and crispy also went into the pot. I let it all simmer together for about fifteen minutes so the flavors could all marry and get happy.
The soba has been hanging out in a bowl with sesame oil while I finished everything else. To serve, place some soba noodles into your favorite bowl and top with broth and some sliced green onion.
For my first attempt with these unusual new spices, we were very happy with the results!
If anyone wants to check out Asian World Market, their website is: www.asianworldmarket.com