Pressure cooked mushroom jus, fresh soba noodles, sous-vide egg, microwaved baby bok choy, mushrooms, scallions, black sesame, black Hawaiian sea salt.
At some point a few weeks ago I swore to myself I wouldn’t post any more recipes that don’t actually require a recipe. Stuff like soups, smoothies, sandwiches, salads. (Side note: How come they all start with the letter s?) Anyhow, I mean who needs a recipe for throwing a bunch of ingredients into a blender, a bowl, a pot, onto a slab of bread?
But then something happened. I posted my lunch of soba noodles on Instagram without any intention whatsoever to post a recipe for it. Because as I just said – noodles. vegetables. in broth. in a bowl. Done. Anyone need a recipe for that?
Apparently there is a need for it because I got more likes for this picture than I get for the occasional cutesy baby stuff I post. Sometimes the ways of the internet are strange and mysterious to me.
If you already know all about strands of buckwheat noodles submerged in a pleasant liquid then it’s an even bigger mystery to me as to why you’re still here reading about me blabbering along instead of sprinkling a ready-to-eat bowl of soba noodles with scallions. But just in case you’re interested in a totally novel and rad (yes, I like using the word rad) new way of making such bowls then please, allow me to continue.
Now this is probably the time and place I would at length explain the history of soba noodles and how they were introduced into the western diet if I did in fact know anything about it. But I don’t so I’ll just spare both you and me the details and jump ahead to a way of making them delicious. I do have a word of warning though: This is not your average throw-in-a-bowl quick lunch recipe. Making this might expose you to some grave and lasting cooking fatigue and the only antidote I have found for this to date are a few days of frozen pizza and Doritos.
If you’re in full acceptance of such a condition possibly hitting you like a brick wall then let me not distract from the recipe any further but proceed to the making of an incredible bowl of soup. First and foremost, the soba noodles are homemade. Not an easy feat to accomplish but I have increased the ratio of wheat flour to a more manageable level* and also added some vital wheat gluten to the dough. Yes, this defeats the point of buckwheat being gluten-free but it also prevents me from throwing a chef’s knife at my pasta machine.
The few grams of egg in the dough, albeit not traditional in any way, further help preventing breakage.
Then there’s the stock. It’s pressure-cooked in advance and it’s not even a stock but an incredibly fragrant mushroom jus. The egg is done sous-vide to accurate perfection and the bok choy, in true MCAH style, is vacuum sealed and microwaved.
There’s nothing of significance to be undertaken for both the scallions and the mushrooms so there’s your zen kitchen space right there. It’s simultaneously my weapon to deny you any claims of an exaggerated soup recipe. Soup is precious and this is a damn fine one.
* sadly more manageable is not equal to easy. Buckwheat is a temperamental ingredient to work with and you will think I provided the worst recipe for soba noodles when you first try to run it through your pasta machine. It will be a crumbly mess. But just keep going until you attain a pliable strand of dough before cutting, boiling and rinsing the noodles immediately under cold water.
For the Mushroom Jus
- 75 g neutral vegetable oil, 5 1/4 tablespoons
- 450 g oyster mushrooms, 6 cups
- 120 g shallots, finely sliced, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 600 g water, 2 1/2 cups
- 120 g sherry fino, 1/2 cup
- 120 g chardonnay, 1/2 cup
- 42 g white miso paste, 3 tablespoons
- 6 g soy sauce, 1 teaspoon
- 10 g sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon
- Salt, to taste
For the Soba Noodles
- 140 g all purpose flour, 1 cup
- 280 g buckwheat flour, 1 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons
- 16 g vital wheat gluten, 2 tablespoons
- 4 g salt, 1 teaspoon
- 125 g water, 1/2 cup
- 50 g egg, about 1 medium
- 25 g oil, 2 tablespoons
For the Sous Vide Egg
- 4 extra large eggs
For the Mushrooms
- 1000 g water, 4 cups
- 10 g soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
- 6 g fish sauce, 1 teaspoon
- 100 g oyster mushrooms, torn into strips, 1 1/3 cups
- 100 g brown button mushrooms, thinly sliced, 1 1/3 cups
For the Microwaved Baby Bok Choy
- 300 g baby bok choy, washed, about 4 medium heads
- 50 g water, 1/4 cup
- Black sesame seeds
- Black Hawaiian sea salt
- Scallions, chopped
To Make the Mushroom Jus
- Heat the oil on high in an 8 quart pressure cooker. Add the mushrooms and shallots and brown while stirring frequently. This takes about 10-12 minutes.
- Pour the water, sherry and chardonnay into the pressure cooker. Close the pressure cooker and cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar for 25 minutes, starting to time once full pressure has been reached. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled strain through a fine mesh sieve. Add the miso paste and soy sauce by blending in with an immersion blender. Allow to infuse for four minutes before straining again. Season with sherry vinegar and salt to taste. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
To Make the Soba Noodles
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients together separately. Add the dry ingredients to a food processor with the dough blade attached. Pour the wet ingredients on top and processed until combined.
- Shape into a firm ball and vacuum seal. Rest in the refrigerator for up to 24h but at least 1.
- Once ready to cook the soba noodles bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil. Meanwhile roll out the dough in individual portions with the help of a pasta machine. It will be very crumbly at first but work it through the lowest position until it is a pliable dough, folding it over after every time. Check out this clip for more information on how to roll out pasta. (Note that wheat pasta dough only needs this done 5-6 times while buckwheat pasta dough can use up to 20 turns.) Then roll out into long sheets of dough until you reach the third largest setting on your pasta machine. Cut into noodles with the spaghetti attachment and cook immediately for 1 minute. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and carefully rinse under cold water. Proceed in the same manner with the remaining dough.
To Make the Sous Vide Egg
- Cook the eggs sous vide at 82°C (179.6°F) for 12 minutes.
To Make the Mushrooms
- Bring the water, soy sauce and fish sauce to a boil in a small pot. Add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes or until just done. Drain and set aside.
To Make the Microwaved Bok Choy
- Place the bok choy together with the water in a microwave safe bag and vacuum seal. Cook at 950 watt for 2.5 minutes. Allow to rest for 2 minutes before removing from the bag.
- Heat the mushroom jus. Divide the soba noodles, mushrooms and bok choy between four soup bowls. Pour the hot jus on top. Pick the four nicest egg halves and add one to each bowl along with some chopped scallions. Sprinkle the noodles with black sesame and the egg halves with black Hawaiian sea salt.