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Where friends are concerned, I have been abundantly blessed. Not only am I always able to count on them in times of need, but also for a good feed. I have many partners in crime that I can call on at a moment’s notice, be it to try that fancy new restaurant, the cramped pop up eatery, fresh market produce or greasy food truck fare. Being foodies, most of them are also rather adept at whipping up gourmet food to rival any restaurant or bakery. And, amongst several of these talented friends, there’s one machine that I’ve regularly been hearing rave reviews about of late.
For those who’ve never seen one of these, it’s a noodle/pasta maker. Now, most of us are perfectly capable of making noodle/pasta dough, letting it rest, rolling it into flat sheets and then cutting them. But why would you when you can achieve the same result without any kneading or resting? In 4 minutes flat!
Trust me, when I first heard of this wonderful new contraption, I thought to myself – why would I want another useless gadget gathering dust on my kitchen bench? But after I saw it in action at a friend’s house last weekend, I WANT ONE!!
On this occasion, we would be treated to a cold (zaru) soba dish for entree. Wanting to see this wonderful appliance in action, I turned up early. Well, just in time to see J adding the wet ingredients (egg + water mixture) in with the dry (flour), which he had already measured and poured into the top of the machine. About 4 minutes later, this happened:
I kid you not, it was really that simple! Once the machine starts spitting out noodles/pasta, all you need do is to gently twist it into rolls and cut it at the source with a flat rectangular plastic blade, provided together with the machine. The machine also comes with several cutting plates for making different shapes such as penne, fettucine and lasagne.
Being freshly homemade, the noodles don’t take long at all to cook. Somewhere in the order of 2-4 minutes. J served the soba with a piece of tofu, pre-blanched greens, some grated ginger and a dab of wasabi, all topped with his own cold soba sauce. With his permission, I am sharing his delicious recipe below.
RECIPE FOR SOBA NOODLES
170g buckwheat flour
80g plain flour
Water to add up to 95g
1. Open lid of Philips noodle maker, add dry ingredients, and close lid.
2. Turn on noodle maker, select appropriate program, and press start.
3. Slowly pour wet ingredients through opening on lid.
4. Wait for noodles to be extruded, then cut at desired length.
5. Boil noodles for 2-4 minutes to taste just before eating.
RECIPE FOR COLD SOBA
Ingredients for sauce:
Cooked soba noodles
Chopped spring onions
Thick soya sauce
Other toppings as desired, eg tofu, blanched greens
1. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a ratio of 1/2 cup sake to 1 cup soya sauce, 1 cup mirin and wakame to taste. This can be prepared beforehand and stored in the fridge until needed.
2. Layer cooked noodles in a bowl with the desired toppings, ginger, a dab of wasabi (J likes leaving it on the edge of the bowl so that everyone can choose how little or how much they want to mix in), a dash of thick soya sauce, chopped spring onions and bonito flakes.
3. Pour over cold soba sauce, mix the wasabi through, and enjoy!
There you have it! Such an easy yet tasty dish to prepare that’s light and refreshing for the coming summer months. It has saltiness, sweetness and a touch of spice from the ginger and wasabi. I really would have been satisfied with just that, but, well, I told you I had fantastic friends – this was followed with a tuna, foie gras, roe and caviar donburi for mains!
I know it seems strange, but foie gras actually goes surprisingly well mixed in with warm sushi rice! This dish is pure decadence, being rich, creamy and just too delicious for words. J added a touch of sour cream and some garlic aioli, but if you want to simplify it even further, I don’t actually think they’re needed – you could simply add more foie gras if you desire a creamier consistency!
So, are you sold? If so, Philips noodle makers can be purchased for around $290 here, where you’ll find all manner of home appliances at very competitive prices. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just click on “get a customised quote“. (By the way, I am not getting any kickbacks from this – I just recognise a good deal when I see one!)
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