I love Japanese cold noodles. I love the eating process – swirling the springy noodles in the chilled dashi dipping sauce till they’re loose, lightly coated with sauce and eventually, eating it. I love the taste – so refreshing, light and so tasty. I love the condiments – the raw quail egg, scallions, pickles, shredded seaweed sheets and wasabi.
(I really don’t like the sesame seeds that sometimes come with it though. I love everything sesame except the seeds :P)
On this particular warm and humid evening, my stomach decided to crave for Japanese cold noodles. I could have driven out and get my fix but I decided to make it eventhough the only Japanese ingredient I had in my pantry was a tube of instant wasabi.
# – The international cold noodles.
What would you do??
Well, I decided to wing it. I figured that an International version of cold noodles would just do as well to satisfy my craving ;)
What exactly is International cold noodles, your wonder? Lets find out…
- 80 grams of wheat or rice vermicelli (from China)
- 300 ml of chicken stock (from Malaysia)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of nampla or fish sauce (from Thailand)
- 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce (from China)
- 1 egg, half boiled (from Malaysia)
- 1 tablespoon of pickled sour ginger slices (from China)
- 1 teaspoon of Japanese horseradish paste/wasabi (from Japan)
- 1 teaspoon of parsley flakes (from USA)
How’s that for International????? Hehe.
# – First, warm up the chicken stock in a pan and pour in the nampla/fish sauce.
# – Followed by the light soya sauce. Stir to combine.
# – Pour the stock into a bowl and keep chilled in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
# – In the meantime, make the half boiled egg. This contraption I was using is brilliant! Simply pour boiling water into it up to the designated level and wait for it to drip off. Once water is completely drained, voila…perfect half boiled eggs!
# – Now boil the noodles according to instructions on the packet.
# – Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. You can throw in some ice if you want.
# – Set the noodles on a plate and placed the half boiled egg on it. Place some pickled ginger slices and squeeze out some wasabi on the side.
# – Take out the chilled dipping sauce and sprinkle parsley flakes all over the sauce. Serve with the plate of noodles.
# – The international cold noodles, DONE!
I was truly pleased because this international cold noodle dish managed to hit all the right notes. The noodles were loose and springy. The half boiled egg was divine (you must absolutely dunk it in the dipping sauce).
The dipping sauce was delicious thanks to the depth of the homemade chicken stock and the taste of sea from the nampla. It was really not a bad replacement for authentic dashi dipping sauce!
All said, some Japanese salty pickles would have made the entire experience perfect, but beggars can’t be chooser. I’ll remember to stock up on Japanese pickles next time. Oh yeah, and chopsticks!!!!