Starting the year 2015 with Soba

Kitsune Soba

So, I’m back from the hospital with some blood pressure meds I need to take every eight hours. Egh. They really mess with me though, so I have to be careful with how long I stay upright.

Normally at this stage of my pregnancy, I’ll be feeding the baby with the aim of brain and muscle development. However, in the wake of no less than 5 failed cannula attempts (my veins just kept going NOPE!) I have the grip of a three year old. So, while I was planning delicious foods like piroshky and maina to prep and freeze and store for easy reheating and eating, they have to take an unfortunate back-burner for now. Fortunately, the children can be pressed into kitchen service (it’s also good training for them; a seven year old boy is quite capable of peeling potatoes and carrots, and the eldest daughter is capable of chopping that up into little chunks, and with the aid of a food processor slicing up onions is easy – she just has to cut them into quarters and feed through.) I’ll have to have them brown up minced meat with carrots, onions and potatoes and freeze to use as bases for future meals.

My children will grow up to be capable in the kitchen.

I found some enoki mushrooms at the local grocery though! They were on sale too, yay, so I snapped up a packet. I knew I had some aburaage in the pantry, and either soba or udon, so I decided to make something noodle-based for our first dinner of the year. Yeah, I’m not steady enough to do the whole thing proper but fusiony dishes let me get away with this. There were frozen shrimp har gows in the freezer, and to my delight I’m not allergic to this set. I’m going to have to remember that, and buy more in the future.  I had both soba and udon, but decided on the soba because the udon felt like too much to deal with right now, plus it’s more traditional for the Year End Soba” (though I’m making it for the start of the year, since I was too ill yesterday to cook. We went with a different Japanese-holiday-appropriation instead.)


Shadowdancer’s Super Lazy Toshikoshi Kitsune Soba with Shrimp Har Gow


1 packet aburaage (there were ten pieces in this one) or inari-zushi no moto (they’re the same thing.)

1 liter Campbell’s Chicken Stock

2 Maggi Chicken bouillon cubes

1 small punnet of enoki mushrooms, pulled into strips

1 frozen package of Shrimp Har Gow (feel free to substitute any other dim sum of choice)

Half the packet of this brand of soba” This makes enough for four or five people

(not used this time) Asian greens, such as Chinese cabbage (wom bok), chopped into strips, leeks, spring onions chopped fine, bok choy, as desired

Note: If you have narutomaki fish cakes” , other kamaboko” kamaboko, or anything else you want to add to this, feel free.

1 medium sized pot

In a medium sized pot, pour the chicken stock. Add bouillon cubes and enough water to fill  up to 2/3 of the pot. Add the aburaage with the accompanying liquid. Put in the enoki mushrooms, and bring to a boil at medium heat. Add  the har gow adn cook for another 10-15 minutes. Add the soba, (and greens and naruto) and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Serve in bowls, with chopsticks. Enjoy!

I am, however, having a slice of fruit cake for dessert.  With Lady Grey tea.


Sticky, yummy, packed with fruit. It’s not boozy, but my time-tested method of improving on store bought fruitcakes is to simply soak them in the brandy or rum of one’s choice in a plastic container for a week. Store bought fruitcakes are also a delight when you’re making boozy fruitcake truffles – just ball up boozed up fruitcake, dip into white glaze, decorate with candied cherries … yum~


4 thoughts on “Starting the year 2015 with Soba

  1. Mary

    Kitchen competence is important.

    My grandmother was the youngest child and the only ambulatory member of her family when the Spanish Influenza struck. She knew how to cook oatmeal. She didn’t know how to cook anything else.

    They were very, very, very tired of oatmeal by the time they recovered. But they did have something to eat!

  2. R.K. Modena Post author

    Yeah, I started teaching them as soon as we got here to Australia, on the chance that if I’m sick and bed-ridden and Daddy’s away they can at least feed themselves. Sandwiches. Rice. Scrambled eggs. Toast. Make their own cereal and oatmeal. Fry frankfurters or boil ’em. Chicken nuggets and other oven-cook-able food. Mince preparation is a sibling endeavor and they know how to brown onions and meat. I’ve taught them how to do chicken mince arroz caldo, and one of these days I’ll test to see if they remember how to do it. And yes, they also know how to crack open a can of baked beans (which they love, yay) and have it with rice or toast.

    The chore of laundry is daughter’s; clothes hanging and folding and putting away is a shared one, as is pot washing (I developed allergies to extended exposure of hand soaps and honestly, that sucks. Yay for dishwashing machine.) Son sweeps the floor but he’s too small for mopping – which is done maybe twice a week. They both take out the bins.

    When Vincent is tall enough, he’ll start doing basic dish-washing too for starters, but when he was three years old I was teaching him to put his (plastic) dishes and cups in the sink, and putting them away in the cupboard. He was quite proud too, of his un-asked for attempts to keep shoes in a nice neat row by the door. Start ’em young, I say. That’s what my parents did with us! It’s not as if we ended up worse for wear or with ‘less’ time to do what we liked.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.