Monday, February 14, 2011

Cold Soba Salad & Tempura-The Daring Cooks February 2011 Challenge

This month's challenge was hosted by Lisa of .  Japanese fare a fave at home especially tempura, sushi and noodles . So, thanks for this great challenge Lisa!

This challenge made me experiment on something i've been planning on trying at home, tempura sushi. Love it! love it! another way to present your sushi. It's like two in one...sushi/tempura.. ha!

I used Nobu's tempura batter and Simple Butter Ponzu Sauce recipes from his book "Nobu Now". The batter was "so, so" i still want my batter w/o eggs. I believe that tempura will stay crispy longer sans the eggs.

The Ponzu Sauce added another layer of flavor to the tempura, Yum!

4 T ponzu****
1 T melted clarified butter


4 T soy sauce

8 T rice vinegar

2 T lemon juice

3/4 inch square piece of konbu*(omit if you can't find them)

Mix all the ponzu ingredients (better if you soak this overnight) then add the melted clarified butter.

Butter ponzu sauce needs to be served immediately because the fat will separate when it cools down.

1 egg yolk
6 3/4 fl oz. iced water
3 1/2  AP flour

1. Make the tempura batter by lightly mixing the ingredients.

2. Blanch the vegetables or  seafood briefly if raw.

3. Heat oil for deep frying to 355 degrees F. Dust the vegetables or seafoods lightly with flour, dip in the batter and fry in the hot oil for about 2 minutes. With the sushi, you can dip them straight into the batter.

4. Place finished tempura pieces on a wire rack so that excess oil can drip off. Continue frying the other items, frequently scooping out any bits of batter to keep the oil clean and prevent the oil (and the remaining tempura) from getting a burned flavor.

Butternut Squash (must blanch them first before frying)

Sweet Potatoes (must blanch first before frying)

Green beans

Shiso leaves

Tempura- Sushi, Sweet Potatoes, Butternutsquash, Green Beans!




2 quarts (2 Liters) water + 1 cup cold water, separate

12 oz (340 g) dried soba (buckwheat) noodles (or any Asian thin noodle)

Cooking the noodles:
1.Heat 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the noodles a small bundle at a time, stirring gently to separate. When the water returns to a full boil, add 1 cup of cold water. Repeat this twice. When the water returns to a full boil, check the noodles for doneness. You want to cook them until they are firm-tender. Do not overcook them.

2.Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse well under cold running water until the noodles are cool. This not only stops the cooking process, but also removes the starch from the noodles. This is an essential part of soba noodle making. Once the noodles are cool, drain them and cover them with a damp kitchen towel and set them aside allowing them to cool completely.

Spicy Dipping Sauce:


¾ cup 70gm/2½ oz spring onions/green onions/scallions, finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce- it's a must to use Japanese soy sauce like Kikkoman to achieve the flavor.

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon Asian mustard powder

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon  sesame oil (if you can’t find this just omit from recipe.)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste - roughly 1/3 a teaspoon of each


1. Shake all the ingredients together in a covered container. Once the salt has dissolved, add and shake in 2 tablespoons of water and season again if needed


Cold Soba Noodles with crispy tofu and eggs. Garnished with sesame seeds and scallions.


  1. Sushi tempura!?! OMG you're amazing! I SO would love to try it! You did an amazing job this month - well done!!! :)
    Pozdrawiam! Anula.

  2. sushi tempura you are a woman after my heart that is so so inspiring and you did shiso tempura also one of my favourites also your posting is full of my favourite things fabulous work and wonderful photos as well. Great to see you back.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. Thanks, Anula! I've tried them at a sushi restaurant and had been wanting to make them at home. Thanks to this challenge i didn't have an excuse not to make them. It was well worth it!

  4. Audax, i've tried to leave you a comment on your site but i can't go thru...i'm giving it an hour and will go back again.

    Thanks!! Yes, i finally made them at home. It's a must try Audax. I have a confession about my shiso leaves, i totally forgot about them that by the time i remembered they have already wilted.

    There is a similar Filipino appetizer that calls for frying check this out..

  5. Wow, so cool! Now I'm craving sushi and soba noodles. And we aren't going out for Japanese food for another two weeks! Waaaa!

  6. Wow Pia, love the sushi-tempura combination! Will try that next time. Love the tofu topping of your soba salad. I've been checking your blog for your dc post :))

  7. This is absolutely amazing. Tempura sushi? I never would have thouht of that! Every single photo looks delicious and tempting and so well done. Can I come over next time you make this? I am so impressed, and you are truly a wonderful, Daring cok! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  8. Do you believe that I also thought of making sushi tempura, but wasn't brave enough... too many new things at once LOL
    Hats off to you! You did an amazing job!

  9. I've had sushi in tempura, but I've never "tempura-ed" whole sushi rolls! You did a beautiful job on this challenge. I love your photos of the uncooked noodles, very stylish!

  10. Hi, V! Oh, can't wait to hear your comment and how you like sushi or Japanese dishes over all=;) Remember not all sushi has raw seafoods. Sushi is really the rice, you can definitely go vegetarian. Now if you see sashimi...that's 100% raw seafoods. Enjoy!

  11. Hello, Dahlia=;) Sushi tempura, i think is the new trend here, it has been in the menu on some restaurants.Try's really good...we like it. See you soon at KCC revelation.

  12. Such a great idea! Sushi Tempura..I am definitely going to try this when I make tempura again! Love your pictures!

  13. Oh, Pia, you knocked this one out of the park and to the moon! every bit of tempura is gorgeous and looks delicious (love the squash and shiso) and your soba is perfection, as are your amazing photos! Loved the egg prep you described on my blog. Does he poach the egg in browned butter??

  14. Oh..forgot..LOVE the sushi tempura!!

  15. I didn't catch what was the sushi roll you used. My favorite sushi spot does all kinds of rolls this way. They finish theirs with either a sweet soy based drizzle or sriracha mayo. So good.

  16. Hi, Ruth, thank you!...sure! sure!! i'd be glad to have you..then we will be cooking the whole day=;) Give this tempura sushi a's good!

  17. Renata, thank you! You did a wonderful job as well! You should make this tempura sushi, you won't regret it!

  18. Thank you Valerie=;) Make your tempura's good!!

  19. Thanks, Samina! let me know how your tempura sushi came out.

  20. Thanks, Pigspigscorner!! i've been seeing this every Japanese restaurant i go..that's why!

  21. Thank you so much, Lisa! He used canola oil just like you're deep frying.

    Check my version...really old version=;)

  22. Robert...those are smoked salmon sushi. I always think that these are "left over" or "oopss made too much" sushi sooo...let's tempura them=;)

  23. I LOVE, i mean LOVVVVVVEEEEEEE tempura sushi!!!! I never even saw that you had posted this one!!!!!!! <3

  24. LOL!!! You making some soon, Kim? i love them too;)