Shirasu and Cabbage "Wafu" Pasta
Japan has tons of interesting variations to your classic pasta you won't find anywhere else. This simple, light pasta is perfect for enjoying fresh kama-age shirasu, or very tender baby sardines. "Kama-age" shirasu are immediately boiled in big baskets right after they're caught, leaving them soft and juicy. If shirasu are left to dry for a half a day or so, then they're called "chirimen jako."
Background: The Shonan area of Japan, including Hiratsuka, is famous for its delicious, plump shirasu! They're so small, they're caught by the thousands and people love to visit Shonan just to enjoy dishes made with raw or freshly boiled "kama-age" shirasu.
- Pasta (2 servings)
- Cabbage (1-2 leaves)
- Kama-age Shirasu (boiled baby sardines) (1/2 to 1 cup)
- Nori seaweed (A small handful, plus some for garnish)
- Shiso (perilla/Ooba) (2 leaves)
- Salt (2 Tablespoons)
- Soy sauce (about 1 teaspoon)
- Olive oil (1 teaspoon)
- Butter (1 teaspoon)
- Shichimi spice (optional) (to taste)
Cut nori and shiso leaves into extra thin strips. Chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces.
Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add 2 Tbsp salt to the water. Add pasta.
1 minute before the pasta is done boiling, add the cabbage to the pot.
Drain the cabbage and pasta, saving a little of the hot water for later.
Put pasta and cabbage in a large bowl and mix with shirasu, nori, shiso, soy sauce, butter and olive oil.
Divide pasta onto plates and pour over a little bit of the water from boiling. Garnish with extra nori, shiso and if you like, sprinkle with shichimi spice.
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