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Categories: Fish and shellfish, Main courses, Soups

Green tea soba with flounder and enoki mushrooms

Green tea soba with flounder and enoki mushrooms
Los Angeles Times

Picture this: It's hot outside, that particular kind of hot that you seem to find only in late summer in Southern California. The sky is beige, and the air seems so thick you nearly swim through it. Even after you're ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes plus chilling time | Serves 4
Note: Adapted from a recipe most often made with skate and chanterelles from Mako Tanaka at Mako in Beverly Hills.

Dashi broth

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2/3 cup Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
  • 2/3 cup mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • 1 (5-inch) square kombu (dried seaweed)
  • 1 ounce (about 2 cups) lightly packed dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

Step 1In a saucepan, bring the water, soy sauce, mirin and kombu to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 30 to 45 seconds, then remove from heat and add the bonito flakes.

Step 2Let the broth steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the kombu and bonito flakes. Cool the broth, then refrigerate. It can be made up to a week ahead and kept refrigerated and tightly covered. Makes 3 cups.

Sauteed enoki mushrooms

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 ounces trimmed enoki mushrooms (or fresh morels, chanterelles or shiitakes)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Step 1In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook just until they soften, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Green tea soba

  • Salt
  • 1 (7-ounce) package dried green tea soba noodles (cha-soba) (200 grams)

Step 1Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles and cook until foam rises to the top, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat and simmer until noodles are tender but springy. Depending on the brand, this can take anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes; the only way to be sure is to taste.

Step 2When the noodles are done, pour them into a strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. When the noodles are cool, drain them and divide them among 4 bowls; refrigerate.

Assembly

  • 4 (4- to 5-ounce) pieces of flounder (skate or halibut can be substituted)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Finely shredded nori for garnish
  • Fresh daikon sprouts (kaiware) for garnish
  • Wasabi paste for garnish

Step 1Rinse the fish and pat it dry. Season it with salt and pepper and lightly dust it with flour.

Step 2Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the flounder pieces, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until they are crisp on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes total cooking time. Remove them from the pan and lift the fillets from the bones. (If they don't lift easily, cook them a little more.)

Step 3Add about two-thirds cup chilled dashi broth to each of the 4 bowls of chilled soba noodles. Place the chilled mushrooms and hot fish on top of the noodles. Garnish with the shredded nori and kaiware sprouts. Artfully smear a little less than a teaspoon of wasabi along one side of the bowl. Serve immediately.

Each serving:
578 calories; 37 grams protein; 53 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 22 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 71 mg. cholesterol; 3,192 mg. sodium.
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