Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tamago Toji Soba

This dish of buckwheat noodles and egg reminds me of the ramen with egg I used to eat a LOT as a kid, minus the partially hydrogenated fat and MSG.

There are several types of traditional "dashi" or stock for soba. The two most common vegetarian stocks are kombu dashi and shiitake dashi. I was actually in the mood for shiitake dashi, but the corner store offered a handful for 2.99 when I could get 10x as much in Chinatown for the same price.

Kombu is a natural flavor enhancer. It contains glutamic acid, and was the first source for industrial MSG. However, *unlike* pure MSG, the flavor-enhancing properties of simmered kombu are not associated with any adverse reactions from people sensitive to MSG. This is attributed to the fact that the glutamic acid in kombu is not chemically isolated and is digested more slowly. One analogy would be the different effect that equal amounts of sugar in different forms has on the body, for instance fruit versus pure cane sugar.

The eggs are mixed with soy sauce, a bit of the dashi, toasted sesame oil, and black sesame seeds (my personal variation).

The addition of the eggs to the dashi reminds me Egg Drop Soup.

I like to save kombu for at least one more dashi simmer. Next to the kombu is shredded nori for the garnish.

Tamago Toji Soba

This was a modified version of the original recipe found here.

Related Entries:
Kitsune Soba

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