Kinako (Roasted Soybean) Ice-cream

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It’s a pretty innocent looking ice-cream at first glance but once you have a lick you won’t know what’s happening. It’s nutty but like no nut you’ve ever tasted. It’s toasty like popcorn but having tasted my Caramel Popcorn Ice-cream I can tell you it’s subtler. It’s better not to tell people what flavour it is before handing them a cone of it, the idea of a soybean ice-cream seems to be off-putting for some people. Saying that, though, I have a friend who we have recently nicknamed ‘Two Veg’ because of his reserved eating preferences and after a taste of this he requested the same two scoop cone that I was dishing out to everyone else.

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I made the mistake of going to town on the tub of ice-cream before remembering I needed to take photos of it, hence the sad little scoop that I was able to salvage at the last minute. I picked up the kinako from my much-frequented Korean supermarket in the Brisbane CBD but in his book The Perfect Scoop David Lebovitz suggests poking around in Japanese supermarkets as well. I say this ice-cream is inspired by his recipe because although I used kinako as the main flavouring I chose to do a cornflour based ice-cream mixture rather than the egg-based custard that David uses in his book. The Perfect Scoop is one of my much-loved and most used cookbooks and anyone getting into their ice-cream making should consider purchasing it. I also bought it for my best friend when she was gifted an ice-cream machine, mainly because I wanted someone to gush to about it.

I used glucose syrup but if it’s easier to get use light corn syrup.

Kinako Ice-cream

Inspired by David Lebovitz’s Kinako Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop.

2 cups full fat milk

3 tbsp cornflour

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 tbsp cream cheese

1 1/4 cups cream

2/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp glucose syrup

6 tbsp kinako (roasted soybean powder)

Mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornflour, set aside.

In a bowl large enough to fit the finished ice-cream mixture combine the cream cheese and salt, whisking well to combine, set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup.

Bring to the boil slowly over medium heat and boil for 4 minutes (don’t get impatient and turn the heat up too high, it can cause the mixture to boil over).

Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk in the cornflour mixture, return to the heat and boil for 1 minute, stirring with a spatula.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the kinako powder.

Cover the ice-cream mixture with cling film, pressing it onto the surface to prevent a skin forming.

Chill in the fridge until completely cold.

Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturers instructions.

When the ice-cream is churned transfer it to a 1 L capacity container and chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours before eating.

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Udon

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This is one of those recipes that is great to have up your sleeve for a quick dinner or side dish. This is the basic incarnation of udon but when we eat it as the main meal I like to add Chinese BBQ Pork or eat it alongside gyoza (japanese dumplings). Even if you don’t like shiitake mushrooms I would still recommend putting them in the soup because they really add depth to the broth. You can get them, mirin and the dashi granules from a lot of supermarkets as well as any Asian supermarket.

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Every time I make this I’m blown away by how something so simple can be SO GOOD! Even though you cook the noodles separately they soak up so much flavour from the soup and the same goes for the shiitake. These are the mushrooms that made me like mushrooms. I prefer to use dried udon noodles because a lot of the frozen soft noodles I’ve tried don’t have the chewiness that I look for in udon but substitute frozen noodles if you like them better. This recipe makes one serving so it’s super easy to multiply for lots of people.

Udon

Adapted from Mamaloli’s Easy Udon over at Mamaloli.

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 tsp granulated dashi

1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp mirin

5 pieces dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms

1 spring onion, finely sliced

splash of sesame oil

70g dried udon noodles

Combine all ingredients except for the spring onion and noodles in a medium saucepan.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 mins.

Take off the heat and add spring onion.

In a separate large saucepan cook the udon noodles in boiling water according to packet instructions.

Drain noodles and place in a bowl then pour over the soup.

Serves one.