Last week boy child and I were talking. I had just finished the high of success making macaroni with the KitchenAid. I had also just seen this recipe for making soba noodles…from scratch on someone’s Facebook. Probably Sean Timberlake’s. Boy child thought this was cool. I knew I needed special flour. Joseph (boy child) said he was going to take his friend Nora to H-Mart on Saturday. Oh…you will be here. There was a lot of back and forth–would he drive the fun house car? Would I drive? Would we have time? Did the late arrival of “Saturday” scratch H-Mart for the week? We worked it all out. I would drive and accompany Joseph and his friend to H-Mart.
I hadn’t met her in person before, but she proved to be just the right speed for me and Joseph. (Err I guess that is why she is his friend) We had a delightful time in H-Mart. I left them for a while to seek the special buckwheat flour and dashi (and failed) but we went back to those aisles together and it appeared.
Boy knew a bit about making soba. He hadn’t made it with his “Japanese Mom” from his high school trip. (Yes, boy child has had a lot of parents to keep track of in his life) He knew about the dashi and had used it before. I am not sure he was confident in our attempt to make the soba though.
First–the recipe said generous cups. It also counted on something like English on the packaging of the flour. It encourages a scale. No scale. We weren’t sure about the whole “generous cups.” I wondered if it was “stone ground sobakah flour” Oh well. Next step. Filtered water or mineral water? We decided the perrier might make sparkling soba but weren’t that adventurous. We used tap water.
I used the same process as we had the week before in making the macaroni–flat beater at speed 2 to mix. It looked like it needed more water. I added a small splash. I swapped to the dough hook. It was super crumbly but I remembered that from the week before. It might have used more water but I didn’t want to add too much. So, we started kneading by hand. Then kneaded more. Then boy kneaded alone while I sliced cucumbers to make a cucumber salad to serve as a side dish.
Ok. Kneaded enough. We had stopped to look at the various KitchenAid plates we had. Nothing seemed right–spaghetti seemed too small. The other ones were tubular pastas. I decided to give the spaghetti plate a try. If it didn’t work, we would roll it out and do it the old fashioned way.
I started putting walnut sized balls into the pasta press. The pasta started feeding out and it LOOKED RIGHT. Really, it did. A good 1/4 of the way into the process we thought we would end up with one bowl of noodles.One thing we knew–it smelled REALLY good.
But we discovered there is a secret replicator or something in the pasta press and we ended up with a lot of noodles, long after we stopped feeding dough in–the noodles kept coming. We dusted them sort of with some tapioca but not too much.
I tasted Joseph’s special Dashi broth (source of some vegetarian angst later on. sigh) It didn’t taste fishy or odd and was delicious. No idea on how to make it. Joseph cooks like I do and throws stuff together.
When it got to be time for dinner, I anxiously waited for the water to boil. I set up the strainer and the bowl of ice water. Joseph came to supervise. I boiled for one minute plus the “wait until the microwave finishes reheating the broth.” seconds as I said “it looks done, here taste it.” He tasted it. Said it was really good actually and done. I drained. I ice watered it. I drained again. Dumped it back in the ice water bowl. He added the broth. The result: Mr. Japanese Food fussy boy saying “We should make these more often.” Denise liked them despite the suspicious nature of them being soup-like AND fish containing. I liked them. And well, it was fun.