Smart Recipes with Umami

Noodles with summer vegetables and minced chicken


This home recipe is from Chef Tetsuo Takeenaka, of traditional Kyoto restaurant Seiwaso

Japanese Restaurant SEIWASOU
Warm sauce made of minced chicken and tomato on top of cold, thin noodles. It’s nutritious, full of Umami, and great for a hot summer's day.

Serves 2
・200g tomato
・50g Padron pepper, mild green chilli can be used instead
・120g aubergine
・100g minced chicken, preferably thigh meat
・150g Somen noodles (fine Japanese noodles. Alternatively, use Angel Hair pasta)
・2 tbsp vegetable oil
・2 tbsp starch water, made with 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp water
・1 tsp roasted sesami oil
・1 tsp juice from finely grated ginger
-seasoning mix-
・3 tbsp Sake or dry shelly
・1.5 tbsp soy sauce
・1.5 tbsp mirin

1. Cut off the green stalk from the aubergine. Halve lengthways, then cut at a diagonal angle into 5mm thick slices.
2. Cut the stem end from the body of the pepper. Slice thinly crossways. De-seed the chilli if using it.
The photograph shows Fushimi Togarashi, very mild chilli local to the Kyoto region.
3. Blanch tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge into cold water and peel the off skin. Dice into 1cm cubes.
4. Boil the noodle or pasta in plenty of hot water until it is Al Dente. Drain into a sieve and wash under running cold water. Drain again. Mix with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and half of the diced tomato. Pile into a pasta bowl.
5. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the minced chicken over medium heat. Stir well to separate the mince.
6. When the meat is cooked, add aubergine and pepper. Increase the heat and saut.
7. Add the seasoning mix into the frying pan. Stir for 1.5 minutes until the alcohol in the sake or sherry evaporates.
8. Remove from the heat once and pour in the starch water. Stir for 1 minute then back to the hob. Heat until the starch water looks clear.
9. Add the remaining diced tomato and sesami oil. Remove from the heat and add the ginger juice.
10. Pour the sauce over the noodle or pasta. Top with some edamame or sweet corn kernels if you like. Mix well when you eat.

Tetsuo Takenaka