Toshikoshi Kinoko Soba, Japanese New Year’s Eve Soba Noodles with Mushrooms

Toshikoshi Kinoko SobaAs most of you know I spent the majority of my life growing up and living in Tokyo.  I first moved to Japan at the age of five and have spent a total of twenty eight years in Tokyo and counting.  My husband and I are now living in both Tokyo and Seattle, our two favorite cities.  My husband, who is Japanese, was recently offered his dream job in Tokyo.  This might not sound so strange for a Japanese man to be working in Tokyo but for my husband it’s the first time he’s actually worked for a Japanese company.  He was with an American software company his whole career and that is what originally brought us to Seattle.  We didn’t want to move away from Seattle when he was offered this new job so we decided we were going to set up homes in both places.  We couldn’t choose just one city because we love them both equally.  This may sound complicated to some people but to us it’s perfectly normal.  Yes we must spend days apart and that can be very difficult but it also gives us a chance to go back and forth between our two favorite cities.  I like to say we have the best of both worlds.

There are many Japanese traditions I grew up with in Tokyo that were taught to me by my Mother.  She always wanted to make sure that I understood the meaning of the different Japanese holidays and the traditional foods and customs that go along with them.  In Japan New Year’s Eve is usually spent at home with family eating a hot or cold Soba noodle dish.  The Noodle shops in Japan stay open all night on New Year’s Eve to accommodate the demand.  They call this Toshikoshi Soba, or year-end Soba noodles.  Toshikoshi means to jump from one year to the next and I was taught that the long, thin shape of the soba noodles signify a long life.  I make sure I keep this tradition alive by making Soba noodles every New Year’s Eve.  One of my favorite Soba dishes to prepare is Kinoko Soba.  Kinoko means mushroom in Japanese.  The tender mushrooms over the steaming bowl of Soba and dashi soup is a perfect combination on a cold Winter night.  I use my three favorite types of mushrooms in this recipe but feel free to use any combination of mushrooms you like.

This year my hubby and I will be spending New Year’s Eve in beautiful Seattle with our puppy happily slurping our Kinoko Toshikoshi Soba waiting to ring in the new year.  We wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2012!

Toshikoshi Kinoko Soba ingredientsIngredients:  4 Servings

Soba noodles (400 grams of dried or 4 packages/bundles of fresh)

For Sautéed Mushrooms:

8 Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 packages Shimeji mushrooms, ends trimmed and separated
2 packages Enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed and separated
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish: 

1 bunch of scallions, chopped
4 Shiso Leaves, thinly sliced in ribbons
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice Mix)

Dashi Soup Recipe:

6 Cups Water
1 5-6 inch piece of Kombu (dried kelp)
1 large handful (about 2 cups) Katsuobushi (Dried Shaved Bonito Flakes)
5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
5 Tablespoons Mirin

1.  Combine the Kombu and water in a pot over medium-low heat.  The water should be approaching a boil after about 20 minutes (adjust the heat if the water looks like it’s coming to a boil too soon or too slowly).  Once the water comes to a boil, immediately turn off heat and remove the Kombu.

2.  Add the dried bonito flakes all at once.  Wait until they absorb the water and sink to the bottom of the pot, about 20-30 minutes.

3. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve (You can also line a regular strainer with two layers of cheesecloth or paper towels).  Let strain for a couple of minutes, do not squeeze the excess liquid from the bonito flakes, this will make the Dashi cloudy and bitter.  Add the soy sauce and mirin to the Dashi and keep hot on the stove.

Toshikoshi Kinoko SobaSautéed Mushrooms:

Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and quickly sauté mushrooms until soft.  Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Preparing the Soba:

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the soba noodles and lower heat to a simmer.  Do not cook Soba in a rolling boil, they are very delicate and break easily.  Cook the Soba following the instructions on the package.  Strain and rinse soba really well under cold water.

2.  Transfer the soba into four bowls and pour the hot dashi soup over the noodles.  Top with the mushrooms, chopped scallions and Shiso.  Serve immediately with Shichimi Togarashi on the side.

Toshikoshi Kinoko Soba, Japanese New Year's Eve Soba Noodles with Mushrooms
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Soba noodles (400 grams of dried or 4 packages/bundles of fresh)
  • For Sautéed Mushrooms:
  • 8 Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 2 packages Shimeji mushrooms, ends trimmed and separated
  • 2 packages Enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed and separated
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garnish:
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 4 Shiso Leaves, thinly sliced in ribbons
  • Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice Mix)
  • Dashi Soup Recipe:
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 5-6 inch piece of Kombu (dried kelp)
  • 1 large handful (about 2 cups) Katsuobushi (Dried Shaved Bonito Flakes)
  • 5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 5 Tablespoons Mirin
Instructions
  1. Combine the Kombu and water in a pot over medium-low heat. The water should be approaching a boil after about 20 minutes (adjust the heat if the water looks like it's coming to a boil too soon or too slowly). Once the water comes to a boil, immediately turn off heat and remove the Kombu.
  2. Add the dried bonito flakes all at once. Wait until they absorb the water and sink to the bottom of the pot, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve (You can also line a regular strainer with two layers of cheesecloth or paper towels). Let strain for a couple of minutes, do not squeeze the excess liquid from the bonito flakes, this will make the Dashi cloudy and bitter. Add the soy sauce and mirin to the Dashi and keep hot on the stove.
  4. Sautéed Mushrooms: Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and quickly sauté mushrooms until soft. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  5. Preparing the Soba: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and lower heat to a simmer. Do not cook Soba in a rolling boil, they are very delicate and break easily. Cook the Soba following the instructions on the package. Strain and rinse soba really well under cold water.
  6. Transfer the soba into four bowls and pour the hot dashi soup over the noodles. Top with the mushrooms, chopped scallions and Shiso. Serve immediately with Shichimi Togarashi on the side.

 

Comments

  1. This looks delicious!!
    Can you tell us how much mushroom is customarily in a package? Knowing my luck, I would find the mushrooms without a package and have no idea how much I need. Thank you!

    • Thank you for the comment. The packages of Shimeji & Enoki mushrooms both come in 3.5 ounce packages at Uwajimaya. That’s the only way they sell them there. Hope that helps!

  2. I was wondering how to serve my toshikoshi soba this year, and this post hooked me! I happen to have all the ingredients, including a fridge full of kinoko. How good it’s going to taste tonight as the snow storm rages outside. : )

  3. Happy New Year Shirley! This recipe sounds and looks delicious. A perfect way to welcome the new year.

  4. Happy New Year, Shirley. I wish I was splitting my time between Seattle and Tokyo too. And I wish I had a bowl of those delicious-looking soba noodles too. All the best.

  5. It looks absolutely delish Shirley! Wishing you a sweet & happy New Year! I always wondered what traditional meal other people enjoy.. now I know the japanese way.. : )

Trackbacks

  1. [...] As Kohaku was winding down, I made some toshikoshi soba. Toshikoshi soba is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve and means “year-crossing noodles.” I don’t think it really matters how you eat them, as long as they’re noodles (they don’t even have to be soba) and they’re long. If you want a recipe for toshikoshi soba, Shirley has one that looks far better than mine on her blog. [...]

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