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Mar28

Rau Om (Rice Paddy Herb) Soba Noodles

Up ’til now, most of our experiments revolved around applying new techniques and ingredients to Vietnamese cooking. Here’s a new twist on that: using a Vietnamese herb to flavor Japanese soba noodles. Bird had picked up the Nobu cookbook specifically for its instructions on how to make soba noodles (jalapeno and cilantro-flavored soba noodles). This past weekend we finally worked on that recipe, but substituting in namesake herb rau om (rice paddy herb, Limnophila aromatic).

Making noodles:

0.75oz rau om, ready to be pureed in 4oz water

7oz soba flour + 1.75oz wheat flour

(the recipe called for strong plain flour in addition to soba flour, but we didn’t know what strong plain flour was so we used wheat flour instead. Will try to find strong plain flour next time)

mixing flour and rau om water

form the dough into a ball

flatten the dough with a rolling pin

(we are supposed to use a very thin rolling pin, but we didn’t have such an equipment, so had to make do with our big, fat rolling pin)

rau om-flavored soba noodles

We definitely needed more practice making soba noodles: the dough sheet needed to be a lot thinner and we needed to cut the noodles into thinner strands. But it was fun and we can’t wait for more noodle-making. What we were most interested in, however, was to see if and how rau om flavor would stand up to soba noodles and dashi broth.

We paired our rau om soba noodles with the traditional soba broth of kombu dashi, bonito flakes, soy sauce, mirin and sugar. We were glad to see that lovely fragrance of rau om survived the noodle-making process. In addition, the floral scented noodles paired so well with the clean, sweet and refined soba broth, one might have thought rau om flavored soba were a native application of traditional ingredients. Our noodle making skills need more practice, but our minds are whirling at the possibilities rau om noodle has opened up.