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"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Zaru soba with tempura prawns


You'll need

  Soba 125 ml (½ cup) dark soy sauce 80 ml (1/3 cup) mirin 1 tsp white sugar 30 gm bonito flakes 250 gm dried green cha soba (see note) 3 green onions, thinly sliced, to serve To serve: minced ginger, wasabi and toasted nori   Dashi 15 gm kombu (see note) 15 gm bonito flakes   Tempura prawns 12 green prawns, peeled, veins removed, tails intact 150 gm tempura flour (see note) For deep-frying: vegetable oil

Method

  • 01
  • For dashi, combine 550ml filtered water with kombu in a saucepan over low heat for 10 minutes. Bring just to a simmer, remove kombu and discard, bring stock to a rolling boil, add 60ml cold water, then add bonito flakes. Return to the boil, remove from heat and stand until bonito settles to the bottom. Strain through a muslin-lined sieve, discarding solids.
  • 02
  • Combine dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, add bonito, remove from heat and refrigerate until completely chilled.
  • 03
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add soba and return to the boil. Add 1 cup of cold water to pan. Return to the boil, then add another cup of cold water. Repeat this process 2 more times, depending on thickness of the soba, until noodles are just cooked. Drain, rinse well in cold water and set aside.
  • 04
  • For tempura prawns, make batter according to directions on flour packet. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 180C. Coat prawns in batter and deep-fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden, then transfer to an absorbent paper-lined plate.
  • 05
  • Divide noodles among serving bowls and serve with individual dishes of dipping sauce, tempura prawns, green onion, minced ginger, wasabi and toasted nori for each person.
Note Green cha soba is made with the addition of green tea powder. Kombu, a type of seaweed used in Japan to make stock, is available at Asian grocery stores. Tempura flour, a combination of plain and corn flours, is available from Asian grocery stores.

Japan's soba is arguably the most iconic buckwheat noodle. In its earliest incarnation, soba was made entirely of buckwheat flour, creating a brittle, fragile noodle. For ease of handling it was steamed and served in a bamboo basket or slatted box called a zaru, hence the name of the following classic dish. These days, wheat flour is included when making soba. Soba has a close relative, Korea's naeng myun, made from buckwheat flour and potato starch. Naeng myun or 'cold noodles' are often served with a chilled beef broth and kimchi.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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