Let’s not jump into pumpkins and butternuts just yet. Let’s ease into this autumn thing. September is about crossover dishes – a little bit summer with a hint or two of fall. This dish is the perfect balance of both seasons. And wrapped up on their own, the kale chips would make a great lunchtime snack or gift to a friend. -Maggie
As autumn loiters in the shadows of September, turning leaves to brown and day to night, my cooking becomes a touch more substantial. The salads and zesty fruits of summer start to fade from the plate, but it’s hard to abandon them completely. For me, this dish is still just about a salad: I serve the noodles cold, the beef warm, and it’s full of the contrast that salads offer: soft and crunchy, salty and meaty, clean and complex. On a darkening dusk in late September, I’m not quite ready to let summer go and I still find myself eating dinner outside, albeit in a coat.
Working with Japanese flavors requires a different approach to cooking. Every ingredient plays its part; every flavor is given its space to shine. Here, the sautéed scallions and ginger are fresh and hot, the black sesame seeds are toasty, the daikon radish is almost creamy, the soba noodles are rich and nutty, and the soy gives the dish that familiar sweet-saltiness. I always find there is a humble frugality to Japanese cooking – just a few ingredients can create something beautiful and comforting. I can’t help but smile at simple dishes like these.
Soba noodles are fast food in Japan but since they are made from buckwheat, they’re also a healthy option. Buckwheat is actually the seed of a plant, rather than anything to do with wheat, so it’s naturally gluten free. It’s largely unprocessed (try to find 100% buckwheat soba), so it’s high in protein with slow release energy. Although the ingredients list looks long, the recipe isn’t at all complicated. The dressings and kale chips can be made ahead and stored for a good few weeks in airtight containers. Even without preparation, this is a dish that can go from kitchen to table in about 30 minutes. I’ve only specified 1 steak between two, but for a more substantial meal, use a steak each.
Miso Beef with Soba Noodles & Crispy Kale Chips
Ingredients:For the beef
- 3 1/2 ounces awase miso paste (mixture of red and white miso)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sake
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar (very fine granulated sugar)
- 1 (around 12 ounces) sirloin steak
- Unsalted butter, for finishing
- 3 1/2 ounces water
- 2 ounces soy sauce
- 1 1/2 ounces mirin
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons dried fish flakes (bonito)
- 3 1/2 ounces curly kale
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 7 ounces dried soba noodles
- 3 1/2 ounces scallions, chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- Handful black sesame seeds
- 3 1/2 ounces spinach
- 7 ounces daikon radish, grated
- For the marinade, add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and stir for 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- Spread the marinade on each side of the steak and then seal the steak in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for about 12 hours.
- Make the dressing next. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for a few minutes, until the sauce starts to reduce. The sauce should be clean tasting, but with rich flavors and not too thick. Turn off the heat and let the sauce stand and then strain. Set aside.
- For the kale, preheat the oven to 250°F. You don’t want any thick stalks, so tear the kale from the central stalk into bite-sized chunks.
- Add the sesame seeds, sesame oil, honey and soy to a bowl and mix. Drizzle the dressing over the kale and toss the kale until all coated.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay the kale out on the paper with plenty of space. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Then take out the tray, loosen the kale from the baking paper. Put back into oven and turn it off. Leave for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the soba noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse the noodles then set aside.
- Heat a saucepan on a medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Add the scallions and ginger and fry for 2 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and then the spinach. Once the spinach is wilted add a splash of dressing. Add the noodles and add enough dressing to coat the noodles. Divide the noodles between two bowls.
- Next, make sure the steak is at room temperature. Remove any excess marinade on the steak and pat dry. Heat the saucepan on high heat. Add a good slug of oil and wait until it is smoking hot. Then fry the steak on either side until cooked to preference (2 minutes each side for medium rare). Let the steak rest for 5 minutes away from any heat. Add a slither of butter to the steak.
- Top the noodles with the daikon radish. Remove the kale chips from the oven and sprinkle over the dish. Then slice the steak into strips and serve on the side.
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.