Preparation time: approx. 40 minutes
Kawara soba is a peculiar-looking dish consisting of generously garnished green tea soba noodles cooked on a hot tile ("kawara" in Japanese). This cooking technique comes from the days of the Seinan War, when soldiers used tiles to cook vegetables and meat. Of course, you can replace the tile with a pan or an electric hob.
- 400g cha-soba green tea soba
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Sweet and savory sautéed beef:
- 200g beef
- 1-2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp mirin rice wine
- 40ml water
Usuyaki tamago fine omelet:
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp dashi broth
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp sea salt
Other toppings and condiments:
- 4 sheets of nori seaweed
- 1 daikon white radish
- 1 lemon
- 1 scallion
- 200ml tsuyu sauce
- 30ml mirin rice wine
- Ichimi togarashi red chili pepper (optional)
Cook the cha-soba noodles in a saucepan filled with boiling water. Cook them a little shorter than the time suggested on the package. For example, if the instructions indicate a cooking time of 5 minutes, about 3 minutes should be sufficient.
Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Transfer the noodles to a bowl of ice water and drain them well: this will prevent them from softening too quickly.
Usuyaki tamago thin omelet
In a bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is well combined. Strain the beaten eggs at least one time through a sieve to obtain a mixture with a smooth and silky texture.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place a damp kitchen towel on your countertop. Dip a kitchen brush in vegetable oil and apply a thin layer on the pan.
Pour a small amount of the egg mixture (the omelet should be very thin) into the pan before it gets too hot. Quickly swirl the mixture around by tilting the pan in all directions. Then turn off the heat and cover the pan. Transfer it to the damp kitchen towel to stop the cooking process.
Leave the lid on for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the omelet has solidified. As its edges are drier, you can use a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to lift it. If the omelet is not completely cooked, flip it and cook it a little longer over low heat.
Transfer the omelet onto a paper towel and let it cool. Repeat this process until all of the egg mixture has been used. Once the omelets have cooled, roll them up and cut them into thin strips.
Sweet and savory sautéed beef
Heat some oil in a pan then sauté the beef. Add the sugar, mirin and water. Let everything simmer for about 15 minutes, until the meat is shiny.
Other toppings and condiments
Cut the lemon into thin slices. Grate the daikon white radish and drain the excess liquid. Finely chop the scallion. Pour the tsuyu sauce into a saucepan and heat it up. Add about 30 ml of mirin and let the sauce simmer for a while (so that it is a little sweeter).
Heat a pan, coat it with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and lightly brown the cha-soba noodles. Spread the noodles on the pan and top them in the following order: egg strips, sautéed beef, nori seaweed, 4 lemon slices, grated daikon and chopped scallion. Sprinkle with ichimi togarashi red chili pepper if desired.
Continue cooking over low heat for about 4 minutes, until the bottom of the noodles begin to become crisp. The bottom of the noodles should be crisp while the top should be soft.
Serve the garnished noodles in a communal dish. Serve a bowl of tsuyu sauce to each guest. Put some noodles in the bowl of sauce. Add some garnish, a slice of lemon, grated daikon and enjoy!