~ Soba in Japanese Dried Shaved Bonito Broth ~
Soba in the Japanese culture is as common as Wanton noodles in our Malaysia and Singapore culture. Soba means buckwheat. It is a type of thin noodles mainly made from buckwheat and flour which contains thiamine or vitamin B1, an important nutrient missing in white rice upon polishing and removal of husks. This Japanese thin noodles is such an interesting type of noodle that it can be served cold with dipping sauce or hot in broth, great for both hot sunny days or wet rainy days.
There are a few types of dried shaved fish flakes that I bought during my trip to Japan last year. This type that I used to cook broth for Soba is called Atsukezuri, the dried shaved bonitos that comes in rather thick pieces compared to the normal Bonito flakes that are soft, light and commonly used as a garnish in many Japanese food. They are thickly-shaved type of Katsuobushi, a dried fermented and smoked skipjack tuna fish produced in the traditional Japanese way. You do not have to get this specific type of dried fish flakes that I used. Any type will do good to make a quick and easy broth. In the Japanese culture, bonito broths are supposedly healthy eats as it may be a remedy for colds and fatigue.
As these fish flakes are quite hard after cooking, straining is necessary before serving. I resolved this by using a Softiera Insert unit to cook the loads of loose flakes. All I need to do is to remove the unit filled with all the flakes from the pot after simmering is done. The broth comes clean without any flakes left behind in the pot. It is the same way I used to cook Cod Fish Bones Broth with all boney parts brewed in a pot. With the combination of this accessory in my AMC cookware system, broth making is simply convenient.
The broth simmered for 20 minutes turned out smoky, non-fishy and delicately clear. I did not add anything to the broth as I wished for a bowl of clear soup to go with my Soba, garnished with finely julienned spring onion stalk tips, sesame seeds and dried seaweed flakes. Each slurp warms the body, truly food for the soul. A Japanese meal is never complete without an accompanying fish serving. So, we had Baked Teriyaki Cod Fillets to go with this freshly boiled broth with Soba too. It made an awesome meal.
Soba in Japanese Dried Shaved Bonito Broth Recipe (Serves 2 Adults) :
- 100 grams Japanese Dried Shaved Bonito
- 500ml Water
- 2 bundles Soba
- 1 liter Water
- 2 stalks Spring Onion (julienne, white part only)
- 2 tablespoons Dried Seaweed Flakes
- 1 tablespoon White Sesame
AMC Healthy Cooking Method :
- Add 500ml of water to an AMC 20cm 3.0 liter Pot unit. Add 100 grams of Dried Shaved Bonito to a 20cm Softiera and place it into the pot unit. Switch on Navigenio to automatic mode “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on lid knob, indicating 80°C or “Carrot Window” and set on 20 minutes to simmer.
- When Audiotherm beeps, turn off both Navigenio & Audiotherm. Remove Softiera Insert unit from pot unit.
- Add 1 liter of water to an AMC 20cm 4.0 liter Pot unit. Switch on Navigenio to automatic mode “A”. Turn on Audiotherm, place on lid knob, indicating 80°C or “Carrot Window” and set on 1 minute to bring to boil. When Audiotherm beeps, turn off Audiotherm and switch on Navigenio to heat level “2”.
- Add Soba into pot unit, cover pot with the transparent blue glass lid and cook for 3 minutes or until soft.
- Scoop broth on Soba in a bowl, garnish and serve hot.
Tips : With the combination of AMC Pot and Softiera Set for broth cooking, I can add all kinds of ingredients which I wish to remove all of them quickly by just removing the Softiera insert . There is no need to sieve or remove any fine ingredients manually which delays the hot broth from being served piping hot.