Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lunch Week 29: Cold Soba Noodles with Spicy Pork

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Cold Soba Noodles with Spicy Pork
Okay so the title sounds very enticing, doesn't it. However, the reality of the situation was that I was left with very little time to cook. I had other plans with the same ingredients but it just didn't work out. Also, I didn't have time to photograph a lot (or any) of the steps. But this was so easy that words will work just fine. What's not okay is that I recently made a huge feast (post to come on a much later date) and I really didn't have time to take pics of the steps. Sigh, I'll have to actually write properly so that you guys, my readers, will be able to replicate it. On another note, I think I want to start measuring and capturing everything out for a personal cookbook. That will be a very slow project.

Anyway, back to lunch.

First I took a piece of pork tenderloin and sliced into small medallions. To that, I added some soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chili garlic sauce (I like the Lee Kum Kee brand). Mix and put it aside.

Next, bring a large pot of water to boil. As that heats up, prep your other ingredients. I had some shitake mushrooms which I had soaked in hot water. You can also do this the night before. I trimmed the stems off (kitchen scissors work best) and sliced them up. I also took a bunch of scallions and diced that up.

When the water is boiling, add a handful of salt. I also have dashi (a Japanese seafood based dry stock) on hand and like to add that whenever I'm boiling Asian noodles. Then add the dry soba noodles to the boiling water. Add the shitake mushrooms as well. The noodles cook in about 5 minutes or less so don't walk away.

When the noodles are cooked, strain (leaving some broth in the pot), and place in large bowl. Immediately add scallions, mixed spring greens, and oil (canola or vegetable oil works best). Then mix around allowing the residual heat to wilt the greens. A spot of sesame oil would be very nice at this point but I decided to leave that out this time.

While the noodles cool, place a large pan on the stove with oil. Heat the oil until hot and cook your pork in batches until browned on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Be careful, the oil may splatter.

*Quick Tip: When you're finished cooking the last batch of pork, you may have black stuck on food in your pan. Don't fret. The pan isn't ruined. Keep the fire running on high and add some water to the pan enough to cover the inside completely. Let the water come to a rapid boil and slowly scrape off the food bits with a wooden spoon. It should all eventually come off easily. Then just pour out the remnants and wash as usual.*

While the noodles cool, it can get a little gummy. No worries. I add a little more oil and dashi broth to it once in awhile. Eventually it'll get to a happy place and not stick together in a clump.

This dish is more summery than the weather we've been having lately. But it's okay. I like to eat light anyway. The soba noodles have a nice flavor on their own because they're made with buckwheat. The heartiness of the noodle is very nice. The greens and scallions add a freshness to the dish. While the pork is only slightly spicy but has great flavor. I also sliced up some leftover tomatoes just to use them up before they spoiled. Overall, it was okay lunch. It's satisfying me just enough.

1 comment:

  1. I've been working on my own cookbook for years now. It's a super slow process when I'm not getting paid, haha

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