It’s hotter than hot here in the soCal with temps in the triple digits of an otherwise mild summer. I do miss the cooler days and nights. Can’t complain when other parts of the world are suffering from floods and God knows what else. Hot weather always gets me in the mood for bibimgooksoo, which is a Korean noodle dish literally translated as “mixed noodles”. This is the Japanese version of that dish in my opinion.
I found this recipe in my recent cookbook find while browsing through Barnes & Noble. It’s called Everyday Harumi: simple Japanese food for family & friends. I love this cookbook not only because I love Japanese food but it’s simple and I have almost all the seasonings for many dishes–mirin, sake, soy sauce, miso. It’s also beautifully photographed and designed. I’d say she’s the Japanese version of Ina Garten as there’s an ease and simplicity about her cooking. (She claims to be a simple home cook but she’s got rock star status in Japan with her cooking shows, housewares stores, cookbooks, food mags, etc. Similar to Rachel Ray, she’s an empire, hopefully without the annoying voice and heavy food).
I think this recipe took about 40 minutes to make, which isn’t bad on a weeknight. You can prep a lot of the chopping ahead of time like the veggies.
udon noodles with ground meat miso sauce
small leek (about 2.5 oz) look like giant, thick green onions, mild in flavor
3 TB fresh ginger, minced
1 TB vegetable or canola oil
13 oz ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
½ cup chicken stock
1 TB sake
1 TB soy sauce
2 TB mirin
1 TB sugar
3½ TB miso paste
small cucumber, julienned to garnish
13 oz dried udon noodles
1. Boil water in a stock pot for the udon. Cook based on instructions on the package. When cooked, drain and rinse under cold water to remove any stickiness. Set aside.
2. Finely chop the leek and ginger. Add a little oil to a frying pan and heat. Cook the leeks and ginger until they release an aroma. Then, add the turkey and brown.
3. In a small mixing bowl, mix the chicken stock, sake, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and miso together and add to the turkey, gently cooking until it thickens.
4. Chop the leek for the garnish into fine 2-inch julienne and leave to soak in water for a few minutes, then drain thoroughly and set aside.
5. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and into 2-inch julienne strips.
6. Individually plate each serving in a bowl. Place noodles first, sauce on top, and then the garnish of julienned cucumber and leeks.