A Japanese word ‘Okazu’ is hard to be translated into English. There is no English word that has the same meaning. The Japanese principal food is rice (short grain). The most typical meal in standard Japanese cuisine is called ‘Ichijū Sansai’ which means ‘One Soup & Three Dishes’. This doesn’t include rice. These dishes are the accompanying dishes to be eaten with rice and ‘Okazu’ are the these dishes.
I heard this ‘Mabo Harusame’ is one of the most popular ‘Okazu’ dishes these days. The basic concept of this dish is replacing Tofu of ‘Mabo Dofu’ with Harusame, the starch noodles. It tastes yummy but less nutritious. That’s why I tend to add lots of vegetables and mushrooms to this dish.
Pork Mince 250g
Ginger 1 small piece *finely chopped
Garlic 1 clove *finely chopped
Spring Onion 4 *finely chopped
Harusame Noodles 100g
Vegetables of your choice about 300g
*I used 1 Carrot, a handful of Snow Peas, 100g cooked Bamboo Shoots, 5 Shiitake Mushrooms. Other suggestions include Shimeji, Enoki, Beans, Kikurage (Black Fungus Mushrooms), Garlic Chives, Bean Sprouts, Pak Choi, etc.
Sesame Oil 1/2 tablespoon
Chicken Stock 1 cup (or Water 1 cup & Asian Chicken Bouillon Powder 1 teaspoon)
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Soy Sauce 2 tablespoons
Sake 2 tablespoons
Toban Djan (Chili Bean Sauce) 2 to 3 teaspoons
- Soak Harusame Noodles in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes to hydrate. When they are soft, drain well and tear short if very long.
- Prepare vegetables. Basically you need to slice them into thin strips or cut into small pieces.
- Place all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. This has to be done before you start cooking. Cooking process doesn’t take long at all.
- Heat Sesame Oil in a large frying pan or a wok, cook Pork Mince with Ginger and Garlic, breaking up the mince. When the Pork changes colour, add vegetables and cook for a few minutes.
- Pour in the sauce mixture and bring it to the boil. Then add Harusame Noodles.
- Harusame Noodles become transparent. At this point, you might think the sauce is too much and you need more noodles. DO NOT worry because the noodles will soak up the sauce. When the sauce is almost gone, it is ready to serve.