Stone Cold Soba

Saturday 25/6/2005

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Diary and Notes

Years ago I visited my Brother Des who lives in LA. He's gone all native and is now a fully paid up card carrying American pie moms apples sort of chap (though he's not a chap anymore. No, I don't mean he's had an op, I mean Americans don't call each other chaps, he's now a guy). I remember going out for a Japanese meal and eating some chilled noodles in beef broth, which almost made me sick. In fact the whole meal was pretty awful as I'm not a fan of cold food and there was a lot of it. So upset was my poor tummy that I had to go to Pinks for a chilli dog to settle me down again.

The point of my story is I don't like cold noodles - or cold soba to be exact. Apparently the Japanese love their cold noodles and on this one point I shall have to disagree with them and say 'No!' if I'm eating noodles they will be hot and steaming, not cold and inedible.

So today I made myself a simple Japanese style noodle dish and as an accompaniment I splashed out on a can of octopus in oil. Delicious. I also had some Chinese salted black beans which I'd bought on one of my recon missions into enemy territory (Chinatown, Manchester) and this gave me an idea: Beans week.

Some time ago either my friend Curtis or my Niece Riann suggested I spend a week eating different forms of beans on toast. The idea would be to have frijoles with tortillas, etc. and at the time I declined the challenge. I will now take up that challenge as far as the beans part and will spend the next week eating beans or other pulses with every meal. I'll try to get some interesting dishes from around the globe and use a different bean or lentil every day. So today's was the Chinese salted black beans. They were excellent with the ginger and the octopus and really gave an authentic Chinese aroma to the kitchen when they were cooking. I'm not sure what effect beans week will have on my system, I shall let you all know in due course.

Cake Blog

Manchester tart. A big blog of jam and custard in pastry. But not set custard, it's still soft and runny. 55p from Sainsbury's.


  • Octopus with Salted Beans
  • Soba with Shitake
  • Kimchi and Wasabe


    Octopus with Salted Beans
    1 Small Can Octopus
    2 Spring Onions
    2 Small Radishes
    2 Tbsp Salted Chinese Black Beans
    1 Slice Fresh Ginger
    Dash Stir Fry Oil
    (Garlic, Chilli and Ginger Flavoured)
    1 tsp Soy Sauce
    Soba with Shitake
    1 Pack Soba Noodles
    3 Shitake Mushrooms
    1 Leek
    1/2 Green Pepper
    1 Sheet Nori
    Squirt Miso Paste
    1 tsp Mirin
    1 Tbsp Shoyu Sauce
    1 tsp Peanut Oil


  • Cut the ginger into thin strips and stir fry for a second. Add the octopus (drained), spring onion and radish. Fry for about 20 seconds, then add the beasn and soy sauce. Just warm through then eat.
  • Fry the leek, pepper and sliced mushrooms in a little peanut oil. Add some miso paste and water, a little mirin and a sheet of nori torn into small pieces. Bubble for a few minutes then add the soba. Season with shoyu and eat hot.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person