A warm bowl of noodle soup – Nyumen

No.218

March 2, 2018

Oslo is freezing!!

colddays

Brrrr….

In a cold day like this, it is so nice to have a warm bowl of noodle soup.

Udon, Soba, Somen are the three main types of Japanese noodles. Nowadays Ramen is very popular all over the world but it is originally a Chinese noodle. Udon and Somen are made from white wheat flour. Udon is a thick fat type of noodle and Somen is a thin one. Soba is made from mixture of buckwheat flour and/or white wheat flour and yam flour. People in the eastern part of Japan are said to prefer Soba and the western part eats more Udon.

Somen is a very typical summer noodle served cold but it is also very good served hot. When it is served hot, it is called Nyumen. While Soba and Udon are both served cold and warm but they do not change its name, Nyumen can be said the winter version of Somen.

Tamago Nyumen

Here is Egg Nyumen (warm Somen). It does not take much time to cook Egg Nyumen and if you can use more time to upgrade it with some savory chicken meat balls, here is the recipe. This recipe was used at my cooking class in September 2016 and it was fun to cook with you! Somen noodles (dry type) are available at asian stores and it needs just a short time to cook. Enjoy!!

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Nyumen with chicken meat balls

Ingredients for 4 people
Somen noodle (dry) 6 bundles

Chicken ground meat 1 pack
Green onion 2 (minced)
Ginger 1 piece about 3 cm long (minced)
Sake 1 table spoon
Ra yu (Japanese chili sesame oil) 1 tea spoon
potato flour 1 table spoon

Salt and white pepper

Green onion to garnish

Cooked leaf vegetable like spinach or Bok Choy

Soup stock DASHI 6 cups (Dashi powder and water)
Soy sauce 3 table spoons
Mirin 1 table spoon
Salt 2/3 tea spoon

How to make :
1. Preheat your oven at 190℃

2. Put the chicken ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Add green onion, ginger, sake, Ra yu, potato flour, salt and pepper. Mix well. Make small meat balls and place them on an oven tray (use an oven paper)

3. Bake in the oven for 10-15 min. until golden browned and crispy outside.

4. In a pot put the soup stock Dashi, add soy sauce and mirin and heat it up.

5. When the meat balls are done, in a large pot bring water to a boil. Put Somen noodles and cook 2 min. Drain and wash the noodles in running water.

6. Bring the soup to boil and add Somen noodles. Serve in a bowl. Top with meat balls and green onion.
You can add some cooked leaf vegetables like spinach or Bok Choy on top.

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Chilled Sweet Corn Soup

No.169

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Hello! I am sending my summer greeting to you from Oslo!! It is coming close to the end of July, it has been more than 1 month since I wrote my last blog post, I apologize for the absence. Although my writing has not been active, my kitchen has been very busy. If you are following  my Facebook page, you know I am cooking or baking something everyday and making bento for my family this summer. My daughter is working for a french company in Norway this summer and she brings a bento to her office. My husband is also back to work this summer. As he leaves home very early in the morning, 3 bentos are ready to go at 06:30 AM. It is very early but I am enjoying making bento for them. It is so nice to see my family happy and to hear “thank you, mama” for what I make for them!

You may all live in different countries, how has your summer been? There are many food I associate with summer, BBQ is a typical one and I also like chilled soup in summer.  Vichyssoise or Crème Vichyssoise Glacée in French, is very lovely when it is hot and we don’t really feel like eating a dinner. It is also very nutritious !

Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise sounds very elegant but the ingredients are rather ordinary. Potato, leek and onion are cooked together and puréed, you add good chicken stock and cream to it. It can be served both cold and warm, but I like it cold, Vichyssoise for me is a summer soup. Cold tomato soup is also good, I like fresh tomatoes with cumin seeds, rosemary, garlic and balsamic vinegar, it is aromatic, and you place a piece of chargrilled chicken on top of the soup.  Squeeze lemon over it and serve cold. Ummm…. it is so delicious. I have to give you this recipe one day.

Today’s soup is chilled sweet corn soup.  Like Vichyssoise, the ingredients of this soup are ordinary. In August I get fresh corns from the corn field outside Oslo and until then I make this soup with canned corn. It is very easy to make this soup, so I hope you will try this recipe. You will need a blender or an electric hand blender to make this soup. If you don’t have a hand blender, I really recommend to buy one, I use it very often and it is amazingly handy.

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* Chilled Sweet Corn Soup *
 (serves 4)
Canned sweet corn and juice      420g (I used 3 small cans, 140g each)
Shallots    4
Butter  20g
Water     2.5 cups
Chicken consomme cube    1
Sugar  0.5 table spoon
Bay leaf    1
Cream    0.5 cup and some extra
salt and pepper

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1. Peel and slice shallots thinly. Heat a pot and melt butter on medium high heat. Put the shallots in and fry until they are translucent.

2. Add corns and juice from the can. Stir well to coat the corns with the butter. Continue to cook over medium high heat until you can see corns are heated warm. Add water, a chicken consommé cube and a bay leaf and sugar. Put a lid on. Cook until it boils back, skim the foam, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 25 minutes.

3. When it is cooked for 25 minutes, take it off from the heat.  Take the lid off to cool. Take out the bay leaf.

4. Use your blender or hand mixer to puree until very smooth, then strain through a fine sieve and set.

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5.  Add cream, season with salt and pepper.  Chill it in your fridge at least for 5 hours.

6.  I sprinkled paprika powder and some greens right before serving in a cup.

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You can serve this warm, too. Then you may not need so much cream, you may like to replace it with milk instead. I think creamy soup needs more cream when it is chilled than warm.

Bon Appetite!
xxx Rie

 

 

 

An autumn dinner – Stuffed Pork Tenderloin and Carrot Soup

No.139

Autumn colors by the lake

Autumn colors by the lake

It has been such a good weather over here this year and we are enjoying sunny days in September. Usually it rains in this time of the year but it has been a beautiful autumn season and I am so glad. As the days getting chilly I appreciate warm dishes, specially a bowl of good soup will be nice to warm me up. My daughter absolutely loves it when I make her a carrot cream soup.

Autumn soup of carrot cream
Autumn soup of carrot cream

Rie’s Carrot Cream Soup (for 4 people) 
Carrot, large, locally produced            3
Onion                                                    1/2
Chicken Consomme cube                    1
Water
Butter                                          2 table spoons
Heavy cream (matfløte in Norwegian)   1/3〜1/2 cup
Milk                        1/4 cup
Salt, white pepper, sugar
Toppings: croutons, dried estragon

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1. Wash, peel and cut carrots into small pieces. Cut onion into small pieces.
2. Put the vegetables in a pan and fill with enough cold water to cover just over the top of the vegetables to cover them. Add a pinch of salt and a tea spoon of sugar and a consommé cube.
3. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are very tender.
4. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to low. Using a handheld blender make a smooth puree.
6. Add butter, heavy cream and milk.
7. Warm it up. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Serve with some croutons and dried estragon.

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Autumn is the season of harvest and autumn is the season of roasting!
What about stuffing a good pork tenderloin and slow-roast in your oven? I love the peaceful Saturday when something is cooking in my oven and it smells wonderful in the house. I sit down and enjoy a good book or music on an autumn day…

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Potato and Pearl Onions 
Pork tenderloin          1
Potato, middle size    2
Pickled pearl onions  8
Bacon                        8 – 10
Rosemary, dry          2 tea spoons
Garlic                        2 small cloves
Fresh thyme
Red wine                     1/2 cup
Salt and pepper

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1. Put the pork tenderloin on a cutting board, pat with a kitchen paper towel to dry and trim the silver skin off. Silver skin is a white membrane on a pork tenderloin. It is recommended to remove it otherwise the loin will shrink and toughen when heated. Then cut and flatten out the pork tenderloin.

Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces.Mix with pearl onions, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Place the meat on your cutting board with one long side close to where you are standing and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the meat. Place the potatoes and pickled pearl onions on the meat but leave out 2 cm from the top and the bottom sides. Roll it from the side closest to you carefully enclosing the potato mix in the meat (use your fingers!)  Wrap with bacon.

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Tie with kitchen twine. Place fresh thyme and bay leaf and slow cook in the oven, while I made a sauce with red wine and juice from the meat. Season with salt and pepper. (Adjust salt according to the saltness of the bacon)

2. Roast it in the oven 150℃ for 1 hour first with an aluminum foil over it. Then you take off the foil and put the temperature up to 200℃ and let the bacon gets nice and crisp for about 15 minutes, then turn the heat down again to 130℃, pour red wine and let it slow cook again for 30 min or so. It depends on the size of the meat, please adjust.

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Let it rest for 10 minutes and cut.

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Bon appetite!

xxx Rie

This post is participating in the contest in Norway “Matstreif fyller 10år, lag et festmåltid med norsk lokalmat”