Saturday, April 18, 2009

Past Random Cooking - Looks Are Deceiving

A quick post having just gotten over a flu bug.. :(
Not a lot has been happening in my kitchen last week but found a few old photos to share (semi-reluctantly).

Arabiyan Yakisoba (アラビヤン焼きそば) is an instant noodle produced by Sapporo Ichiban's Sanyo Foods where its sale is actually limited to the Chiba prefecture.

Falling in love with the retro packaging (product launched in 1967), I had asked my sister to send me a box. Yes, not only did she have to purchase this online, it had then traveled across the Pacific Ocean. (Sorry about the carbon footprint..)

Supposedly Arabiyan Yakisoba has a loyal fan base in Japan which explains the 40+ year run of the product but I found it rather sub-par. Still being first to admit having a huge soft spot for nostalgia inducing foods, I can certainly relate to these people.
The noodles leech a lot of starch while cooking and the powdered yakisoba sauce packet is rather tangy on the sweet/acidic scale. Having a case of the stuff I had experimented with it time to time with varying results. Below is a photo of a "deconstructed yakisoba" that went horribly wrong.

First I learned that when you try to crisp up cooked instant noodles, it pretty much returns back to its dehydrated floury state. Then the idea of placing "a salad" of finely shredded raw cabbage and white onions sounded better than it actually was. Finally the Onsen Tamago I made did not set at all so I had it Rocky Balboa style. No generous amount of Okonomi Sauce and Japanese Mayo would have saved this dish. All in all the idea of my deconstructed yakisoba was cooler than the end result.

On the other hand the rather uninspired looking dish below of stir-fried cucumbers I made a while back was actually tastier than it looked. Of course nowhere near Kirk's version.

Mandolined cucumbers stir-fried in olive oil, minced garlic, powdered Konbu Dashi, S&P and a final drizzle of Hot Chili Oil. Made me wish even more that I had a high BTU Wok burner...

No hurry for one though. In the meantime I reheat another canned soup.


KirkK said...

Hey Dennis - Actually, those cucumbers look pretty good. I think you have to be pretty quick with it or it ends up mushy. Looks like the perfect cut for namasu....but maybe too thin for a stir-fry??? Still, it looks good.

Dennis K. said...

Thanks Kirk! I think the frying pan I had was too small for the amount too. No room to toss and was smothering. I'll try it thicker as you suggest next time as well. There'll be many occasions because I'm now on a diet! :)

Saint said...

That's too bad the deconstructed yakisoba didn't work out, because it does look rather cool!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Saint, yeah I still like the idea so I might give it another try with some changes. I won't be running out the noodles anytime soon.. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Dennis,

Your noodles look so yummy!

Just stop by and say hello!

Have a good one!