Monday, August 02, 2021

Black Sesame Soba

Well, there are  a number of reasons I wanted to try black sesame paste, but these noodles were just a quick ad-hoc, weeknight supper for one.  They taste remarkably like sesame noodles.  I will have to make both kinds side-by-side to make an accurate comparison.

I recently learned that there are many colors of heirloom sesame seeds beside the familiar black and white sesame seeds.  Traditional sesame farming methods are back-breaking and labor-intensive, and depend mostly on the work of women in the family.  Heirloom varieties are giving way to high-yield innovations.  The rarer sesame seeds and the women who pick them deserve better. 


Black Sesame Soba (for one)

1 ounce soba noodles

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, or to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons black sesame paste (I used Eden)

1/2 tablespoon shoyu, or other soy sauce,  or to taste

A drizzle of hot pepper sesame oil

1 garlic clove

Sesame  seeds, if you like

Cilantro leaves, maybe

Carrots and cucumbers cut into matchsticks?  Sure, I won't stop you from doing that.

Cook the soba in liberally salted water (reserve the water).  Cool the cooked noodles in cool water and toss them in sesame oil. Stir in the black sesame paste, shoyu, and hot pepper oil and enough pasta water to make a lovely sauce.  The black sesame paste I used is more liquid than most tahini, so I used less water than usual. Add minced or microplaned  garlic, and as few or as many garnishes as you see fit.  

This is more delicious than is usually  allowed.


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