Meals and Courses

  • 125 g (4 oz) dried soba noodles
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
  • 2 pak choi, shredded
  • 1.8 litres (3 pints) hot vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 125 g (4 oz) bean sprouts vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 12 raw tiger prawns, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined
  • 2 sheets of nori, shredded (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) iced water

Cook the soba noodles according to the packet instructions. Rinse in a colander under hot running water. Drain well.

Heat the sesame oil in a large wok. Add the spring onions and pak choi, and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Pour in the stock, sake and soy sauce and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the bean sprouts.

Make the tempura while the stir-fry is simmering. In a bowl, briefly whisk together the egg yolk, flour and water to make a slightly lumpy batter. Heat the vegetable oil in a separate wok, a deep heavy-based saucepan or a deep-fat fryer to 180°–190°C (350°–375°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 30 seconds. Dip the prawns in the batter, then carefully drop them into the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes or until the prawns have turned pink and the batter is golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Spoon the noodles into warm soup bowls, add the soup and top with the prawns and strips of nori, if liked. Serve immediately.

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