Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cha Soba Noodles with Ginger Scallion Cockles and Wakame

     Green Tea Soba Noodles and Cockles!
     Malaysia and Singapore both are renowned for great Asian fusion cuisine.  American Street Food and trendy European cuisine influences can be found in modern Singapore fusion creations.  Fusion recipes that are a mixture of regional Asian cuisines can be found in Malaysia and Singapore.  Indian and Middle Eastern cooking styles are also incorporated by fusion chefs in Southeast Asia.  The fusion chefs in this region definitely create exciting new food items!

     Cockles are a popular item in Malaysia.  Cockles are a traditional food in Whales, Ireland and the British Isles.  There is a traditional Welsh breakfast recipe of cockles fried with bacon that is served with laver bread.  Laver bread is a grilled mixture of seaweed and oats.  Fresh steamed cockles are a popular fishing village snack in the British Isles.
     Cockles can be purchased fresh in oceanside fisheries and good seafood markets.  Frozen cockles in the shell are easy to find in Asian food markets.  Because Las Vegas is in the middle of the Mojave desert, fresh cockles are not always easy to come by, so I used frozen cockles for taday's recipe.  Vacuum packed frozen cockles are a nice quality product.

     Cha Soba is Green Tea Flavored Soba Noodles.  These specialty noodles can be found in Asian food markets.  The green tea flavor tastes nice with seafood.

     *This entire recipe yields 1 entrée!

     Wakame Preparation:
     Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped rinsed salt packed wakame seaweed in a bowl of water.
     Soak the wakame till it reconstitutes.
     Drain the water off of the wakame and set it aside.

     Cha Soba:  
     Cook 1 portion of green tea soba noodles in boiling water over high heat, till they are fully cooked and tender.
     Use a pasta net to remove the noodles from the pot.
     Shock the hot noodles in ice water, so the noodles gain a firm texture.
     Set the noodles aside.

     Cha Soba Noodles with Ginger Scallion Cockles and Wakame:
     Step 1:  Keep a pot of water boiling, so the noodles can be reheated later in the recipe.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan or mini wok over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 tablespoon of peeled ginger that is cut into thin strips.
     Sauté for about 15 seconds, till the garlic and ginger becomes aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add 20 to 25 scrubbed cleaned fresh cockles or frozen whole cockles.
     Add 1/2 cup of dry rice wine.
     Add 1/4 cup of dry sherry.
     Add 1/2 cup of fish broth.
     Add the reserved chopped wakame seaweed.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Korean red serrano chile pepper paste.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Step 4:  Cover the pan with a lid.
     Steam the cockles, till the shells open and they are fully cooked.
     Step 5:  Remove the lid from the pan.
     Add 2 thin sliced green onions.
     Simmer and reduce the liquid, till about 3/4 cup remains.
     Keep the ingredients warm over very low heat.

     Step 1:  Place the prepared cha soba noodles in a pasta net and reheat them in the boiling water.
     Drain the water off of the noodles.
     Use a long tine carving fork to coil the noodles on a oval plate, so they look nice.
     Step 2:  Spoon the ginger scallion cockles and broth around the noodles.
     No garnish is necessary!

     The rich clam flavor of cockles tastes nice with cha soba!  

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