Friday, March 13, 2015

Cha Soba with Rice Wine Ginger Sauce Bay Scallops

     Green Tea Buckwheat Noodles!
     Cha Soba translates to Green Tea Buckwheat Moodles.  Soba noodles are usually made with a combination of wheat flour and buckwheat flour, because buckwheat actually is a nut that does not contain enough gluten to retain a good noodle texture after boiling.  Powdered green tea is added to the soba pasta dough mixture to make cha soba.  The pale green cha soba noodles have a light delicate green tea flavor.
     Dried cha soba can be found at most Asian food markets.  High quality cha soba noodles are pre-portioned and the individual noodle portion bundles are wrapped with a decorative ribbon.

     Small bay scallops have a rich scallop flavor, as long as they are not overcooked.  It only takes about one or two minutes to cook small bay scallops.  The garnishing vegetables in today's recipe have to be cut thin, so they cook as quickly as the small bay scallops.

     When featuring cha soba noodles in an entrée, it is important to choose a sauce that will not overpower the delicate green tea flavor of the noodles.  I chose to make today's entrée with a light rice wine ginger sauce.  The flavor of the scallop juices combines with the rice wine ginger sauce in a nice way.  The choice of sauce was perfect for the flavor of the green tea noodles!

     Cha Soba Noodles:
     Cook 1 portion of Cha Soba noodles in boiling water, till they become tender.
     Use a pasta net to remove the noodles from the pot.
     Shock the noodles in ice water, while stirring, to give the noodles a firm texture.
     Drain the water off of the noodles and set them aside.
     *Leave the pot of hot water over medium high heat, so the noodles can be reheated later in the recipe.

     Cha Soba with Rice Wine Ginger Sauce Bay Scallops:  
     This recipe yields 1 serving.
     Be sure to have all of the ingredients ready ahead of time, before starting to cook this quick recipe!
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauté pan or mini wok over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger.
     Sauté the ginger for a few seconds, till it becomes aromatic.
     Step 2:  Add 6 to 8 ounces of small bay scallops.
     Sauté and toss the scallops for a few seconds, so they start to cook evenly.
     Step 3:  Add 6 to 8 thin fancy carrot slices.  (Use a fluting tool to cut lengthwise grooves on a peeled carrot before slicing to create a flower or sunburst effect.)
     Add 10 thin red bell pepper strips.
     Briefly sauté till the vegetables just start to cook.
     Step 4:  Add 3/4 cup of rice wine.
     Add 1/4 cup of light fish broth.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Add just enough cornstarch and cold water slurry to thicken the sauce to a thin sauce consistency.  (About 2 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of water.)   
     Stir the sauce.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add about 8 to 10 feathered snow peas.
     Add 1 green onion that is cut into small bite size pieces.
     Step 7:  Place the cha soba noodles in a pasta net and reheat them in the pot of hot water.
     Drain the water off the noodles.
     Step 8:  Add the cha soba noodles to the scallops and sauce in the pan.
     Toss the sauce and noodles together.
     Remove the pan from the heat.

     Place the noodles and sauce on an oval plate.
     Try to expose a few scallops and vegetables on the surface of the noodles, so the entrée looks nice.
     No garnish is necessary!

     This is a nice simple delicate tasting noodle house style entrée!  

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