Thursday, 2 June 2011

Rose Tinted Supper (Udon with Pink Kamaboko)

Out of interest I timed this and it took me 18 minutes, from putting the kettle on to sitting down to eat.

A warning about kamaboko: this is a Japanese food and, although it is primarily made from alaskan pollock (a fish that has a green rating from the Marine Conservation Society), as is common with processed foods from this region it is also packed absolutely full of additives, including msg.
Despite mainly comprising of water (76% according to the USDA) and protein (15%), with very little fat, the sheer amount of additives and salt make it the fish equivalent of a battered and deep-fried macdonalds cheeseburger. 

It does, however, have a delightfully chewy texture and a distinct (fake) flavour that is quite addictive, if you happen to like that sort of thing. My husband has his horrible KFC urges, I have my kamaboko and kanikama (aka crab sticks).

The basis of this dinner is a portion's worth of dried udon noodles, simmered in dashi stock until cooked, which only takes about 4-5 minutes. Then drained (with the dashi reserved) and run under the cold tap to stop the noodles overcooking. I kept the dashi hot on the stove until I was ready to cook the kamaboko. I can't help laughing at myself, I go to great lengths to procure msg-free dashi, only to cook msg-cake in it. Such is life.

The stir fry is very basic, a large clove of garlic, a long red chilli, a dollop of grated ginger, coriander leaves, pak choi and sliced mushrooms. When almost cooked I added in a little soy sauce, some nam pla (fish sauce), a splash of the dashi stock, a little rice vinegar and a small pinch of sugar.

I added thinly sliced kamaboko to the dashi and cooked them for a few minutes, at the same time as adding the noodles back into the stir fry to reheat.

When done, I just piled the noodle stir fry into a bowl and put the slices of kamaboko around the edge. I think it's pretty, plus it satisfies my secret surimi cravings.

Kibun, the brand of Kamaboko I buy
FishOnline (MCS) guide: Alaskan Pollock  
Marine Conservation Society
Korea Foods
Kamaboko Wiki
Surimi Wiki
Harumi Kurihara - the Japanese Delia Smith

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