I frequently visit many cooking sites and every month, I notice that many blogs, started to post the same recipes, at certain times of the month. I was pretty surprised, so I decided to find out what was going on. I soon learned that many of the blogs that I viewed, were all a part of a group called The Daring Kitchen. I was intrigued.
Daring Kitchen is a group started in November, 2006 when two ladies decided to challenge themselves to make a recipe, using the same recipe. They decided to try making pretzels and to post their results on the same day. They loved doing this so much, that they continued doing this every month, with other bloggers joining in. So began The Daring Kitchen. Every month, on a certain release date, a recipe, with all the techniques and how-to’s are released. Members have 1 month to prepare the challenge (and it is a secret challenge) and on a certain day, those who participate will post their results on their blogs. I loved the idea of learning new techniques and making myself a better cook, so in January, I signed up. I had to wait until January 17th to get my first challenge! I could hardly wait!
My first challenge was to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. From the recipe document:
Hiyashi Soba is a popular dish in summer. It’s like a noodle salad. Restaurants in Japan serve Hiyashi Soba only in summer. Even if you don’t have much appetite because of the heat, Hiyashi Soba can be appetizing. Common Hiyashi Soba toppings are omelet strips, ham, cucumber and grated Diakon. You can also have the noodles just with the dipping sauce. Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep-fried.
Yea! Cold summer food, in the dead of winter! That’s alright, the host for this month’s challenge lives in a warm climate and suffered making a winter stew, in the middle of her summer.
That said, this was an awesome dish and I am so glad that joined in time to make it. Lisa from Blueberry Girl did an excellent job writing the recipes and giving suggestions. We definitely plan to have this again (in the summer). The challenges I face with this dish was obtaining the ingredients and organizing all the ingredients, so that all the various dishes could be on the table, as fresh as possible. Frying all that tempura was a challenge but thanks to my husband’s help, we were able to fry everything nicely. Another problem was my thermometer did not go to 340F but thankfully, the recipe gave a good method to test the oil’s readiness.
For the Soba Noodle Toppings, I served Japanese Thin Omelet, ham, chicken breast (I boiled with bonito broth), English Cucumber, Nori and Scallions. For Tempura, I served Sweet Potato, Broccoli, Mushrooms and Shrimp. I prepared both the traditional sweet dipping sauce and the spicy dipping sauce.
All recipes and techniques can be found at
or can be downloaded here:
So on with the pictures of the food!
The February 2011 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by Lisa of Blueberry Girl. She challenged Daring Cooks to make Hiyashi Soba and Tempura. She has various sources for her challenge including japanesefood.about.com, pinkbites.com, and itsybitsyfoodies.com