Crisp fried shrimp and soft buckwheat noodles in a rich amber broth make a very nice light meal. You can make use of leftover shrimp tempura if you reheat them first in a preheated 250-degree oven for about 7–8 minutes. The soup can be made several days in advance and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 1 month.
To make the soup, bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan. Season with the soy sauce and syrupy wine, then stir, and cook for 1–2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the bonito flakes. Let them float to the bottom naturally, stir them up and let them settle again. Strain the broth through a cloth-lined strainer, discarding the bonito flakes. Return the soup to the saucepan and keep it piping hot unless you’re making it for future use.
If you plan on reheating leftover shrimp tempura, do so while you boil your noodles. If you’re going to fry the shrimp just for this dish, cook and drain your noodles first (you can always reheat your noodles, if they get too cold waiting, by swirling them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds, then draining them). Chop the trefoil or coriander coarsely, and grate your ginger if you’ll be using it.
To assemble this dish, divide the cooked noodles among 3 or 4 deep bowls. Pour very hot soup over the noodles to barely cover them, and top each portion with 2 fried shrimp. Garnish with some chopped trefoil or coriander, and sprinkle on a bit of the 7-spice hot pepper powder, or add ginger. Serve immediately.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.