You may think that pasta is only as flavorful as its sauce, but that would mean you haven’t tried Japanese soba noodles. Made of buckwheat, they have an earthy, nutty flavor that evokes the countryside, which is why I’ve paired them with an Italian ingredient that has the same effect, pancetta. And this east-west pair is going to be the platform for today’s all in one dish: my Soba Noodle Shrimp Pancakes.
1 pound shrimp
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus some leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons yuzu or fresh lemon juice
1 cup diced, rendered pancetta, cooled
2 cups blanched soba noodles (leave a pinhole of rawness in center)
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a food processor fitted with blade, add the eggs and shrimp and pulse until chopped into a chunky mousse. Season with salt and pepper. Have soba noodles in a large bowl and pour mousse over noodles. Fold in parsley, yuzu and pancetta. Check flavor by cooking a small portion and season if necessary. Spread noodle pancake mixture in an even layer in a sauté pan over high heat coated with oil. Shallow fry pancakes until golden, brown and delicious, both sides, about 6 minutes. Cut into wedges and garnish with parsley.
A lager, quite refreshing with a moderately light body. Pairs very nicely with the Soba Noodle-Shrimp Pancakes.
Jean Luc Colombo Rose
Taste: Surprisingly complex, with intriguing notes of raspberry, cherry and black olive
Aroma: Subtle hints of peach, rose petals and pepper on the nose
Colombo is hailed as “the winemaking wizard of the Rhone” for introducing innovative methods in his vineyards and throughout the production process while making well-regarded, original wines. He believes good wine relies on 3 key elements: terroir, human endeavor and modern winemaking techniques.
—Enjoy on its own or with a wide range of appetizers, fish, poultry dishes and vegetarian fare. This wines pairs equally well with Michel Richard’s Beet Soba Bolognese and Ming’s Soba Noodle Carbonara.
—40% Syrah, 40% Mourvedre, 20% Counoise
Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming. Each week, Simply Ming brings mouthwatering recipes inspired by the combination of East and West into homes across the country.