Some weeks ago, Frs. Totet Banaynal and Earl Barredo visited our community through the invitation of the incoming House Minister Fr. Guy Guibeleondo. I took the opportunity to prepare something "special" for our guest; in other words, another opportunity for a "food test."
The idea that first came to my mind was a tossed salad with asian dressing. However, while inspecting our cupboard, i found some leftover black wheat noodles. And so the magic question popped up -- "What if I use this in my salad?" It was quite challenging because I don't know how to incorporate it in my salad. Ah, but I remembered one of the episodes of
"The Iron Chef" where Roksaburo Michiba (Iron Chef Japanese) used cold noodles in highlighting his dish. "Well, let's see what will come out, " I told myself.
After 30 minutes or so (for one dish--I'm definitely not qualified for any food fight!) what came out was a cross between a yaki-soba and a tossed salad. Hahaha. I could almost hear a dubbed voice over:
- "Yes, go ahead."
- "What our challenger Jhaw is doing right now is creating some kind of deconstructed yaki soba, putting some of his noodles in a bowl of marinade. But wait, he's also doing that to his vegetables... what kind of dish do you think is this Fukui-san?
- "Mmmm, Sounds weird! Shinichiro-san, can you please find out from Jhaw what is he actually doing?"
- "Fukui-san! we asked our challenger Jhaw, and he said he's not also sure what he's doing either!"
For a while, i was tempted to ask our house cook to prepare another set of dish like the usual pancit (stir fried noodles). However, my vow of poverty reminded me that I have to use my resources wisely. And so, I continued with the dish. After adding some more ingredients, I finally came up with more or less presentable dish. The taste wasn't bad either (at least for me).
The salad was served. I waited for the verdict. Well, I was really surprised that our two guests and the rest of the Jesuit community actually liked what I served! The two guests plus Fr. Guy instantly became my panel:
--"Oh this one's good, I can actually taste the wasabi!"
--"Mixing Chinese and Japanese is something different..."
--"I like the noodles...and they're not stir fried..."
After the dinner, I firmly resolved to make the salad again. Here's an attempt to recreate the salad:
I combined shreds of rommaine lettuce, carrots, onion and cucumber. I tossed the veggies in a bowl and drizzled it with dressing which is combination of soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and honey (I used 1 teaspoonful of each). This my black wheat noodles. I cook it as I usually cook a pasta, but i made a little twist here. I cooked it in green tea. The aroma of green tea is great! After around 5-7 minutes, I drained the water and let it cool by putting some ice. Meanwhile, I prepared the marinade for the noodles. I used the same marinade from my vegetables, but I added around two tablespoons of kalamansi juice (philippine lemon), 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, and a little wasabi paste. I tossed the noodles with the marinade. Marinated it for about 5 minutes, then I drained the extra liquid.
I assembled the noodles on a plate. Topped the veggies and added some shredded kani sticks (crab meat). The mango slices are last minute addition. It can work both as a garnish, but I think it will also lend a different character to the salad. ( I'm thinking of how it worked well with california maki).
I don't have a name yet for this recipe. Any suggestions?