Otsu: Yes, It’s As Good As It Sounds

ahhhhhhh bowl o' otsu

Time for another favorite recipe.  Courtesy of (surprise) Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com.

I made this the other night for a semi-potluck, and as usual,* it was a hit.  Sesame-ginger-honey-lemon-cayenne dressing over buckwheat soba noodles, diced cucumbers, and pan-fried tofu, finished with sesame seeds and with green onions and cilantro, if I’ve got ’em on hand.

Swanson actually got this recipe from a restaurant here in San Francisco called pomelo.  The in-store version is mighty tasty (their tofu is especially nice), but it’s simple enough to make at home — no outlandish ingredients or particularly finicky prep.  (A food processor does come in handy, though.)

My minor tweaks: more cayenne, more cucumber. (I’ll use 1.5 or 2 cucumbers instead of one-half.)

I could eat this every day for a week, people.

Well, that’s true about a lot of foods.  But this one especially.



*One fairly disastrous exception was the time I tried to make it for my wonderful CouchSurfing hosts in Barcelona.  The effort was doomed by my inability to find Japanese ingredients in Catalunyan grocery stores.  The result was a brownish, ginger-less spaghetti slop with rock-hard tofu nuggets.  Pretty humiliating.  But they were totally sweet about it, bless their hearts.  Maybe someday they’ll visit me in San Francisco and I can redeem myself with a proper version.

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