Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Snuggling with (notreally) Soba Noodles

Today, I found myself looking forward to coming home and cooking dinner for everyone. And this started to concern me. Am I on the oneway path to housewifery? And if so, why am I enjoying it? I find myself getting addicted to looking at new recipes and wishing I could make all the good ones at once.

Although I didn't get to the gym today (blerg....), cooking a meal is tiring in itself. Even with a recipe as simple as the one I used today. And since it's rainy and gross outside (double blerg), the idea of noodles soaked in warm, gooey egg yoke sounded especially comforting. Paired with a Wes Anderson movie, and maybe I actually can survive water falling from the sky, maybe. (#sandieganproblems)

Today, I took the liberty of adding a few modifications to the recipe with the guidance of the Dad. (le gasp! Is this one of those benchmarks to becoming a real cook? Or at least a lesser-noob of a cook than I was before?)

First, we didn't have soba noodles in the house, but a ton of rice noodles left over from the vietnamese salad thing. So I decided to use those up instead. I don't think I have ever tried soba noodles before, so I can't say for sure if the substitution was drastic or not. It seemed harmless to me and my dad though.

Second, the Dad and I decided to add some spinach into the noodles to give it some more veggies. All we did was boil some water and then cook the spinach in it, afterwards adding it to the already-made noodles. Easy enough:


Over-all the noodles were good. I started guest-imating a lot of the measurements for the ingredients because the recipe was intended for 1 serving as opposed to four. The red pepper was spicier than I thought it would be, but it turned out to be just right (in this household, tolerance to spiciness is directly related to respectability and badassery, which we take very seriously).

I also found cooking with the Dad a great way to spend quality time together, and it was really nice. He makes for a great assistant and showed me some useful techniques for stirring noodles, flipping eggs etc.

Difficulty: 4 -there weren't many vegetables to chop up or prepare in advance this time. It took longer than I expected I think because I needed to make enough for 4 people.
Willingness to make again: 10
Over-all: 8 (from me and my dad)
1. The Dad made the helpful suggestion that next time we top our noodles with some black seasme seeds to give it added freshness. Will need to remember that for next time
2. Making "he bao dan" is harder than it looks! Need to be careful not to break the liquid yoke inside.
3. If the brown color is a big deal to me, then I should get the soy sauce that actually turns brown instead of the colorless one we have at home. Not really a big deal though.
4. Next time I try to make soba noodles, I should maybe get my hands on some actual soba noodles and see what that's like.

this is how you successfully flip over an egg while preserving the liquid yoke, as demonstrated by the Dad.

this is what you're NOT supposed to do, my bad.

finalized noodles! 

The egg on top was definitely the MVP of this recipe (and not a stupid Lebron-MVP but more like Michael Jordan).  Yep, I went there, and you earned it Mr. Egg
The salty egg added amazing texture and flavor. And the liquid yolk was just as comforting as I had hoped it would be. Sometimes, as this recipe evinces, less can be more.  Ew, I don't want to become one of those people that ends their writing in something that could be found on a crappy fortune cookie. So this will be all. 

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