Here’s a recipe that tends to confuse my friends who grew up with Bill Cosby’s ads for Jell-O pudding. It’s not like what most of us in the US think of as a pudding at all, but that’s what it’s called nonetheless. A quick trip to Google reveals that this is far from the only recipe for a cake-type blueberry pudding, but most of them look more elaborate than Grandma’s version. I’m not too surprised—this is a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe if ever there was one, and we’re good at food that’s good, filling, and really quite simple.
Each summer, Gma would issue an invitation to come over for either blueberry or cherry pudding for dinner one night. (I’d love to make a cherry pudding as well, but have had trouble finding sour cherries, which makes that difficult.) We’d pile into the car and head over for this annual treat. There are several recipes for either cherry or blueberry pudding in her recipe box, but I went with the one that says, “best one” in the corner.
If you're looking at the title of this post and thinking that it sounds a little off for this blog, you're right. Yaki soba is very definitely not anything my grandmother, or her mother, would have recognized. It is, however, my favorite dish from my favorite UK restaurant, Wagamama (which now has locations in Boston and Washington, DC--why nothing in New York I still don't understand!). Wagamama takes Japanese cuisine and puts its own spin on it. Since I have to travel pretty far to get my grubby mitts on the real thing, I have both Wagamama cookbooks, but I never had the nerve to try making yaki soba myself until two things happened:
1. I found beni shoga--also known as pickled red ginger--at my local Asian market.
2. I had a houseguest from China who loves to cook.
Yaki soba isn't Chinese, of course--it's very definitely Japanese--but I figured an Asian cook would take to it more naturally than I might. In the end, it was relatively simple and I probably should have been brave enough to give it a whirl on my own. It was more fun to do it this way, though.
Without further ado, I present the recipe from Wagamama: The Way of the Noodle (which has a recipe looks more accurate to my experience than the Wagamama cookbook does--the recipes are, for some reason, not the same, and I can say without hesitation that sushi ginger is not only NOT the same as beni shoga, but would be vastly inferior in this recipe). It's now out of print, from the look of things, probably superceded by the later cookbook.