This month’s recipes are typical Nagoya fare: kishimen, a flat, wide quick-cooking udon noodle called hirauchi; and misonikomi (in next blog post), a dish of thicker handmade udon noodles in a hearty hatcho (red miso) broth.
If you don’t like noodles, you could never be happy in Nagoya. Happily, I love noodles, and loved my years of living in Nagoya and sampling and cooking many of their regional dishes. If you can’t get the right sort of noodles. Western-type pasta such as fettuccine can be used instead.
Although there are few ingredients in this classic Kishimen recipe, don’t be deceived. It packs an intense wallop of flavors and taste sensations, especially the abundant topping of katsuobushi.
A Nagoyan friend recently told me that Fried Ebi (shrimp) Curry Kishimen is a modern twist to this traditional kishimen recipe I am posting about and becoming popular. Of course, fried shrimp is a favorite Nagoyan dish too!
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Kishimen Noodles from Nagoya
- 14 oz. fresh or dried kishimen noodles
- 3 ½ oz. fried tofu (abura-age) cut into triangles or squares
- 5 tablespoons mirin, sweet rice wine
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ cup water
For the broth:
- 5 cups strong dashi, fish stock
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sake rice wine
- 1 ½ teaspoons mirin
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 cups lightly packed dried bonito shavings, katsuobushi
- First, make the broth: in a large saucepan, combine the dashi, soy sauce, sake, mirin, and salt. Heat through and set aside.
- Place the fried tofu in a separate shallow saucepan with the mirin, soy sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer, turning occasionally, until the tofu has softened, plumbed up, and takes on a deeper brownish color – roughly ten minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the tofu in the saucepan to keep it warm.
- Cook the kishimen according to the directions on the package, but take them out while still chewy. Add to the dashi broth and mix for a minute or two.
- Pour the kishimen broth mixture evenly into four large soup bowls, distribute the abura-age between them, and top with generous mounds of bonito shavings. Eat at once.