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More miso, less misery

November 8, 2009

So…I went overseas for about a month and forgot to say anything about it, and then I realised wordpress is blocked in China (where I went). Let’s not get into the political frustration of that right now. Personally, oops, and sorry, and if you bought miso due to my rapturous recommendation last post, then here’s another way to use it. Just as fast and easy, quite a bit more delicious. Before I get down to the recipe (miso glazed noodles with sesame oil and spring onions, plus an optional green salad on the side with a super simple soy and rice wine vinegar dressing), let me show you how ridiculous my 5 square meter garden is right now, after 4 weeks of me being gone:

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Planted in my precious 5 square metres: sage, thyme, oregano, carrots, leeks, celery (2 types), 4 types of lettuce, kale, snow peas, mesclun salad leaves (my favourite being mizuna red coral), radishes and spinach. In the pots: leek? onion?, flat parsley, chives, garlic chives, blue cornflowers, blueberry bush, rhubarb, and Bob has  half a dozen kids of berries.

That’s after I pulled out about 5 carrots whose tops had grown about a metre high. The front pots do contain some of Bob’s achievements, such as the boysenberries, but other than that, there are very few weeds, and Will didn’t even water the vege garden once (to his credit, he didn’t forget, the plants just kept…growing…). I used some organic fertilisery stuff before I left, but the nitrogen fixing from the snow peas staked at the back must have given the plants around their roots a bit of a boost. I have so much vegetable.

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In this section: mesclun salad leaf mix (kale, mizuna, mizuna red coral, mustard streaks, some magenta coloured thing, and a whole bunch or other things I dunno the name of…maybe raddichio?), spring onions, carrots, unhappy (ok, dead) purple beans, and flat parsley. In pots: Marigolds and blue cornflowers, plus some more mesclun salad in the big tub…although maybe I shouldn’t grow any more for a wee while…

This is the second 5 square meter vege garden I dug up, but it doesn’t get nearly as much sun, so the spring onions (which is in the same family of onions, which wards off slugs) surrounding the mesclun mix got a bit weed choked. So far the companion planting seems to be working wonders, as this garden has very few bug bites or problems. Let me know if you’re interested. Before you think I’ve lost my mind gardening, let me show you who I feed some of the scraps to:

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Bob and Emily’s rabbits! Adam says the left one looks like a Panda rabbit.

Anyway, onto pressing issues such as how to use up that miso you bought!

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Miso glazed noodles

per person

A bunch (about 2cm diameter) of soba/buckwheat noodles (see photo below)
3/4Tbs miso paste
approx 1 Tbs chopped spring onion
approx 1 tsp sesame oil
approx 2 tsp canola or cooking oil

Bring about 2-3c unsalted water to the boil in a saucepan on medium high heat, add noodles. Stir occasionally for about 3-5 minutes, until noodles are softened. Drain, but retain some moisture. Immediately add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until thoroughly combined and evenly distributed. Serve.

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These buckwheat/soba noodles are my new version of 2 minute noodles, but healthier and just as versatile. They taste different to 2 minute noodles, but not enough for them to be off putting. They aren’t as cheap, however, with this 1.3kg packet costing about $10 at Kosco on Blenheim Rd (most Asian supermarkets, particularly Korean or Japanese ones, have several varieties in stock). Still…1.3kg is a lot of noodle.

Onto the green salad, which consists of mesclun salad leaves (easy find at the vege section at supermarkets, you can pick as much or as little as you like. Growing is easy too, even in containers) and chopped or shaved cucumber. The dressing is just 1 part good Japanese soy sauce (such as Kikkoman), 2 parts rice wine vinegar or white vinegar, 1 part sesame oil and 1 part canola oil. Use about 2 Tbs dressing per serving for good measure.

I’ve had this for dinner and lunch already, and I’ve only been home 2 days! If you want you can add nuts or chopped hard boiled egg to the salad to add even more protein, but remember miso is relatively high in protein anyway. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

PS. Anyone notice that I didn’t use my DSLR camera? I got a new point and shoot, and thought I’d try it out. Lightroom did wonders too.

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