Why is it that weather has become such a big deal? When I was a child weather was never an important part of my life. But, nowadays, it seems like I am always concerned and affected by the weather. Wonder why?
We’ve been having very strange weather in Seattle. Extreme heat then cool overcast days with showers and now it looks like we are finally getting our normal summer back, which is sunny and in the 80’s. On such lovely days I like to eat somen, which are thin wheat noodles that slip down your throat so easily. Somen is quite bland on its own, so recently, I’ve been making this miso ground pork which gives it just enough kick to increase your appetite when then weather is hot. You can always substitute the pork with ground turkey or chicken. In my neck of the woods, ground turkey is readily available but not chicken. So, just use anything that you like and it will still taste wonderful.
The other important ingredient is tsuyu. Tsuyu is a soy sauce flavored broth that is used in many Japanese dishes. Because of our busy schedules it is easier to buy tsuyu than to make it. It usually has a blend of ingredients that include dashi usually a fish stock, soy sauce, salt, sugar and mirin. The tsuyu I like is called Ninben Tsuyu no Moto and it is a concentrate version, which means you have to dilute it with water. The amount of water depends on what dish you are preparing. For somen tsuyu, they recommend 1 part tsuyu to 2 parts water, so that is what I used in the recipe below.
I found this recipe in one of my old Japanese magazines called, Orange Page, but have adapted to a low salt version since my husband and I must watch our salt intake. I cut down the amount of miso and adapted it to our liking. If you feel you need more zing, just add more miso to yours.
- 1½ lb. ground pork
- 1½ Tablespoons awase miso
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- ⅓ cup tsuyu
- brown ground pork in frying pan
- add awase miso, chili paste and tsuyu. Break up the miso in the liquid and let the pork absorb all the liquid
That’s it. For the somen, follow the directions on the package. One thing I must stress is that it is important to rinse and wash the somen in cold water after you drain it in the colander.
On top of your somen, add the miso ground pork, pour the tsuyu on top, add a few vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers and enjoy this refreshing dish.