The original mission was to create a creamy carbonara with the remaining ingredients in the fridge; but after the ingredients had been prepped, I came to the conclusion that they suited wafu-style dishes much more. A side salad with tangy vinaigrette dressing and a multi-toned bowl of Green Tea Soba with Black Sesame Paste Sauce resulted from this decision.
Pickled Radishes (for topping)
- 1 cup red radishes
- 3/4 lime
- 2 tbsp honey
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 mini cucumbers, sliced
- 1-2 slices of deli ham (optional)
- 1-2 slices Swiss cheese (optional)
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp wasabi
Green Tea Soba with Black Sesame Paste Sauce
- 3 bunches green tea soba
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 packages shirataki (optional)
- 10 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
Part i: Pickled Radishes
1) Thinly slice the red radishes and place into a medium-sized bowl.
2) Add in the juice of 3/4 of a lime, honey, salt, and sugar to taste.
3) Mix thoroughly and set aside for at least 1 hour to pickle.
4) Chill before serving.
Part ii: Wafu-Style Salad
1) Wash and thoroughly drain the romaine lettuce, discarding any wilted sections in the process. Chop into strips and allow to drain well as the other ingredients are prepared.
2) Slice tomatoes into wedges and discard the seeds. Set aside.
3) Use cookie cutters to form small decorative pieces of cheese for topping. (Optional)
4) Slice deli ham into 1-inch sections. Roll three sections and secure with a toothpick. Use the remaining two strips to cover the edges of the toothpick. (Optional)
5) Make the the vinaigrette dressing by combining the rice wine vinegar, corn syrup, soy sauce, water, and wasabi in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and chill before serving. (Alternatively, ponzu sauce could be used in place of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.)
6) Arrange tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese cutouts, and deli ham on top of lettuce strips just before serving. Drizzle with wafu-style dressing and top with pickled radishes if desired.
7) Serve and enjoy!
Part iii: Black Sesame Paste Sauce
1) Soak black sesame seeds in water for approximately one hour. In a separate bowl, soak the white sesame seeds for an equal duration of time.
2) Drain well and spoon into a shallow pan. Over medium-high tea, toast until the white sesame seeds change colour. Be sure to keep the seeds in constant motion such that they do not burn.
3) Remove from heat and place into a food processor. Grind until the seeds are largely pulverized, adding in small amounts of water to ease the process if necessary.
4) Place mixture into a large bowl and add in sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, and soy sauce. Whisk well to combine.
5) Serve with Green Tea Soba.
Part iv: Green Tea Soba
1) Cook green tea soba according to package directions. Strain and rinse with cold water once cooked. Set aside.
2) Rinse shirataki and slice into 1 cm-thick pieces.
3) Wash and thoroughly drain the romaine lettuce, discarding any wilted sections in the process. Chop into strips.
4) Arrange peeled and diced carrots onto a baking tray. Using a Bake/Steam function, cook for 12-15 minutes at 375 F. If your oven does not have this setting, steam until the carrot pieces have a gleaming orange surface. Ideally, the carrots should be 80% cooked. Set aside.
5) Over medium-high heat, sautee shallots in sesame oil until fragrant. Add in shirataki and approximately 1 tbsp soy sauce to taste. 6) Reduce heat slightly and add in lettuce strips and mushrooms. Continue sauteeing until the mushrooms become a light grey-brown hue.
7) Place at the vegetable sautee at the bottom of a shallow serving bowl and top with green tea soba. Arrange carrots, shirataki, and pickled radishes (if desired) on top. Drizzle black sesame paste sauce.
8) Serve and enjoy!
- The ingredient ratios in the serving and dipping sauces were adjusted to my preferred degree of tartness. Feel free to modify these proportions according to your preferences.
- These dishes can be rendered vegetarian by omitting the ham slices, and also vegan by substituting tofu cheese for Swiss cheese.
- The method for preparing the black sesame paste sauce was partially derived from Mama Cheung's Kitchen.