Books, Cooking, Food, Recipe

Eat This While You Read That: Cal Primer

Most of the time when I contact an author, it’s about 4-6 weeks before their dish appears here. I try not to rush, I know what it’s like between writing and life and everything. I’d pinged Cal a while back, asking if she’d like to take part, and she was interested… and then I turned this week into an impromptu YA lit week. I messaged Cal and asked if she didn’t mind me hurrying her. Um – this was on Monday. Cal is a very good sport!

She gave me a dish, and I’d already known it would be paired with her young adult novel Company Daughter, and the dish is a perfect accompaniment to that book. In Company Daughter we meet a young woman who’s lived all her life on a space station, and all she wants to do is cook. Her father has other plans, and she flees in desperation, winding up on a remote moonlet. But she’s doing what she loves, and cooking noodles. company daughter

Which is why, I’m sure, Cal suggested Yakisoba for this ETWYRT.

Noodly goodness!
Noodly goodness!

Like any stir-fry, you will want to get all your ingredients prepped and ready because once the heat is on, you’ll be flying. For this meal, plan on slurping noodles with one hand while you read with the other, because there’s no sit time to eat while it’s cooking!

Yakisoba
I chose cabbage, green onion, sweet pepper, and thinly sliced beef to go in our noodles.

Yakisoba

Ingredients

  • Yakisoba Sauce:
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce (or Pad Thai sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • Noodles, parcooked (less cooked than al dente) and drained.
  • Veggies and meat as on hand

Instructions

  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients, set aside.
  • Prep the veggies into fairly thin slices. You can use almost anything, cabbage is more traditional.
  • Prep the meat into thin slices, unless its shrimp, that you can leave whole. Pork is most traditional.
  • Heat a wok to near smoking. Pour (carefully!) about 2 tbsp vegetable oil in. Peanut oil if you have it - higher smoke point.
  • Carefully put the meat slices in. Stirring as you go with a wooden spoon or wooden spatula.
  • Once meat is nearly cooked through, add veggies that need more cooking. Stirring!
  • Cover for a couple of minutes. Once cabbage is soft, add the cooked noodles, and stir. Cover again for a minute or two.
  • Pour in the sauce, add green onions (and anything that doesn't need long cooking like bean sprouts) and stir. When sauce is well incorporated (the noodles suck it up) then serve.
  • Top with sesame seed, nori shreds, or what-have-you.
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    http://www.cedarwrites.com/2016/06/08/eat-this-while-you-read-that-cal-primer/

    Yakisoba
    The sauce is interesting, but I liked it. Tangy, a little spicy, you could do more variations on this with some garlic and chilli paste I’m sure.
    Yakisoba
    I have a cast iron wok. Once it gets hot, it stays hot! The meat was thin enough to cook as it hit the pan.

    You’ll note that I have the meat pulled up onto the relatively cooler sides of the wok – I was trying not to overcook it.

    Yakisoba
    Don’t add delicate veggies here, you need these to cook without mushing the other stuff.
    I bought pre-cooked udon noodles for this meal. I have to track down real soba noodles soon, none of the close stores had them.
    I bought pre-cooked udon noodles for this meal. I have to track down real soba noodles soon, none of the close stores had them.
    Yakisoba
    All mixed up and ready to serve. Smells so good!

    If you like Lo Mein or Pad Thai, you’ll like Yakisoba. In Japan, it’s a street food. For all that I’ve probably made it look complicated, this meal comes together in about 20 minutes and that includes prep time. Cook time is about 5-6 minutes if you have everything read and in arm’s reach. And it’s delicious. Easy enough to make up for my school lunches on days I’m home for an hour in between classes. And so much better than just ramen – you can use ramen noodles for this.

    The First Reader isn’t a big fan of fried noodle dishes – but he said he’d eat this any time I made it.

    Yakisoba-10
    Noodles and chopsticks. Such an easy and satisfying meal.

    Best of all, you can really get into the book when you’re eating a meal that came from it. Talk about engaging all the senses!

    You can find the index page for ETWYRT here, and the facebook group where we chat about food and books here.

     

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