I moved to Japan when I was 9 years old and to be honest it truly has shaped the way I create and experience food today. I remember being SO nervous about the move, but my sisters reassured me that living over seas will be one of the best things I’ll do as a kid.
They were right.
We’d go as a family to the food markets and local restaurants of Tokyo, totally immersing ourselves in the food culture of Japan and of all the meals we loved, a big pot of warming soba with some pickles and delicious sesame spinach definitely topped the list. We’d eat it out, we’d recreate it at home together, and then as I grew to know the locals better, they’d take me under their wing and show me how they’d make it.
I’ll never forget these moments, they sculpted so much of how I live today, how my family share food together, and these flavours and dishes I have brought into my own family home, with my gorgeous boy Jet just as captivated and in love with them as I was as a child too. Make this warmth in your home with me with this beautiful recipe for Warming vegetable miso soba and tamari walnut spinach. Recipe below. Jacq xo
WARMING VEGETABLE MISO SOBA WITH TAMARI SPINACH
Gluten free : Dairy Free : Vegan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
350g eggplant, cute into 2cm cubes
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 bunch broccolini, cut into 2cm pieces, stalks included
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
200g green beans, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
2 asian shallots, finely sliced
350g buckwheat soba
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
sea salt and black pepper
4 L vegetable stock or broth
1/3 cup white miso paste
50g piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 tablespoon tamari or gluten free soy sauce
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
300g baby spinach
50g walnuts, chopped
3 teaspoons tamari
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Place eggplant pieces on tray, drizzle with coconut or olive oil, season with sea salt and place in oven to cook for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
Make the tamari spinach by adding sesame oil to a frypan and cooking spinach until wilted, about 3-4 minutes.
Whisk together maple and tamari, pop spinach into a bowl, drizzle over maple tamari, top with walnuts and set aside (it’s totally fine and absolutely delicious to eat this at room temperature!).
Whilst eggplant is cooking, make the broth by combining all ingredients in a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about 8 minutes.
Add broccolini, asparagus, beans and cook for 3-4 minutes, remove from broth, pop into a bowl, cover and set aside.
Add soba noodles to broth, cook 4 minutes or according to packet instructions then divide broth and soba between four bowls.
Top with green vegetables, cooked eggplant, add asian shallots, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with tamari spinach and some little japanese pickles if you have them handy too!
+ This is a partnered post with Masterfoods Australia, all thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s own.