Here's what set off a week of Japanese cooking:
Lately I have been obsessed with the category of food taste known as Umami, the fifth of the core tastes (the others being sweet, sour, bitter, and salty). In Japanese, Umami is a succinct, one-word way to say “essence of deliciousness." Its taste is often described as the meaty, savory deliciousness that deepens flavor.
So, when I recently visited a new (to me) fish market and found myself some amazing looking Furikake (which Barnacle Foods had branded as "the essence of umami"), I grabbed a bottle and started exploring some Japanese dishes. Here's recipe #1.
YAKISOBA (made steph's way, a very loose recipe) -
In a quest to make my own version of Yakisoba, I scoured a number of different online recipes. Having never made it before, I didn't know what to expect, so I mixed and matched what I thought sounded the best for my tastes (also based on what I had in stock). The fried egg on top and the Furikake seasoning are what really make this dish. The Matcha Noodles are definitely not traditional (plain soba noodles or chinese chow-mein noodles are the norm), but I was pleasantly surprised with my substitution.
BONUS/Ingredient Partner Dish: The next day, you can use these same ingredients to make a delicious Okonomiyaki breakfast.
Trader Joes Green Tea Matcha Noodles - full package for 4 servings (or any soba, chinese chow mein, or ramen noodles)
Fresh ginger ~3 full tbsp
Sesame oil - just enough for noodle drizzlage
Tomato paste ~2 tbsp
Worcestershire ~ a little less than 1/4 cup
Soy sauce ~ 1/4 cup
1 tsp sugar
Sriracha ~ 1 tbsp
Avocado Oil ~ 3 tbsp (peanut or another neutral oil would work but I prefer avo)
Pork Belly (or substitute tofu)
Shredded Cabbage (use a lot as it cooks down, maybe one densely packed cup per serving)
Bok choy, chopped
4 eggs (optional topping, but kind of critical in my opinion)
Scallions for garnish, whites only, eyeball it at the end
FURIKAKE! Essential for the umami-ness of this dish
Optional: Steamed Murasaki sweet potatoes add a delightful touch of sweet (as pictured above)
Make the sauce first to get it out of the way and have it ready to go: combine the tomato paste, soy sauce, Worcestershire, sugar, sriracha. Easy breezy.
Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain, rinse, toss with a bit of sesame oil so they don't stick together, and set aside.
Put the avo oil in large skillet over med high heat. Once hot, add ginger and cook until you smell it (~1 min).
Add pork or tofu and veggies and stir continuously until mostly cooked to your liking. If using pork, cook for about 5 minutes or until it is no longer pink and is starting to brown around the edges.
Add noodles and sauce and stir continuously just until noodles are warmed through
Fry up two eggs sometime during steps 4& 5 - be sure to keep those yolks unbroke!
Plate it up, top the noodles with scallions, Furikaki, and one over-easy egg per plate (in that order).