Thursday, May 27, 2010

A great bento staple - Carrots, Hijiki and Shirataki Noodles has a great recipe for stewed hijiki seaweed and carrots supplemented with some fried tofu cake cut with a cookie cutter. I've done taken this recipe and made my own version of it.

For me, I decided to add shirataki noodles (also known as yam starch noodles)to this dish. You see while my hijiki is re-hydrating, I rinse and par-boil the noodles AND julienne my carrots using a mandolin slicer with a julienne insert. Once the seaweed is hydrated, the noodles should be drained and chopped into shorter lengths. Put the noodles, carrots and seaweed back into the same pot you parboiled the noodles in. Add fresh water and vegetable stock soup base. Or if you have if add some canned/boxed premade stuff. Personally, I prefer using a stock base as I have more control over the intensity of the flavor since it will generally be eaten cold which dulls flavors. If at all possible, I suggest using the Better than Bouillon brand of soup base as the manufacturer tends to roast the veggies which gives greater depth of flavor. That being said, add a good heaping tablespoon of base to the water in the pot with the noodles, seaweed, and carrots. Bring your pot to a boil and maintain it for approximately 30 minutes. This should be enough time for the noodles to take up the flavor of the vegetable stock. Drain off your vegetable stock and let things cool before storing it away.

I have had this bento staple last for two weeks in my fridge before going bad. I find that this dish can taste equally well cold or reheated. And you rarely need to add any extra salt to it as it draws the salt from the vegetable base.