Vicki Kim of Mott St and Mini Mott - Her Comfort Dish

Photography by Paul Strabbing

Photography by Paul Strabbing

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Vicki a little bit here, a little bit there, over a few years now.  I find her a warm and authentic person, not to mention curious and dare I say a tiny bit mischievous which I think plays into her creative business brain beautifully; it’s truly a pleasure to know her.  

Now it’s no wonder her go to recipe she gifted for Parchment is this comfort dish that allows for flexibility and experimentation, which in life is the true measure of a fulfilled existence.  

I love the suggestion of making this a cold dish, especially now as Chicago weather has decided Summer has begun.  Prep everything ahead, keep cold in your fridge (but do not cut your eggs til serving).  Bring it all out on pretty plates and people can build the dish of their choice.  Also, you could make extra broth (the night before) to prepare into ice cubes for that extra slow chill .

You may not yet know that Vicki and Anne Owen have joined forces to create WKND, a place for curative retreats for women, highlighting female entrepreneurs & all things good living.  It’s a canvas for community, exchange, learning and play and the first one happened at Parchment House last weekend. Check out IG for all the latest on their venture @wethewknd @annemowen @vixikim 

Go make some comfort dishes, “there are no rules”!

Soba Noodles:This is a favorite simple go-to meal of mine. Noodles in a warm savory broth has been a comfort dish that my mother would make since childhood and now it's evolved according to the ingredients in my fridge. It can be made as simple or robust as you like really. There are no rules. It's one of those dishes you can whip up when you have a bunch of random ingredients laying around but not sure how to make them meld together~ Soba is typically my answer. For super easy prep, Soba Noodles and Mentsuyu broth can be purchased at the store. Here I included broth bases that we developed at Ruxbin (where our spin was a simple prep of fish with a mentsuyu broth pour over).

Ingredients:

  • Soba Noodles 

  • Mentsuyu broth (can buy store Soba Sauce) or recipe below 

All toppings are optional, my typical building blocks consist of:

  • Kimchi - rough chop (acidic and crunchy element)

  • Greens - any greens you'd like to blanch (asparagus, chard etc), adds a nice vegetal punch. I like to use Spinach and then I toss the greens in sesame oil and a sprinkle of salt

  • Salmon/ Hamachi - Simple Sear or flake the fish and toss with Yuzu Kosho 

  • Egg - 7 min boiled egg for a nice custardy yolk, cut in half to display yolky side up

  • Shimichi Togarashi sprinkled on top for a pop of heat

  • Shaved scallions/ microgreens also a nice touch

Directions:

Simply boil noodles, strain, then pour over warmed Mentsuyu broth. Top with favorite toppings and serve. * A few notes: Depending on Mentsuyu concentration you may need to add water to adjust for taste. Allow a heap of noodles to peak out of the broth so there is a surface to place the toppings. Broth can also be served chilled - refreshing for summer time).  

Mentsuyu Broth Recipe:

1 quart Dashi

1c Soy Sauce/ Tamari

1c Mirin

4oz Sake

1/4c Sugar

1. Combine Dashi, Soy Sauce/Tamari, and mirin in a pot.

2. Bring to a boil.

3. Add sake and sugar.

4. Bring to a boil until sugar just dissolves.

5. Adjust with more sake and sugar as desired.

6. Cool and reserve

Dashi Recipe (if you want to go homemade route):

2 quarts water

3 lobster shells

4x4 piece of Kombu, rinsed of salt

Pinch of bonito

1. Combine all ingredients in a pot

2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes

3. Strain and reserve.

Johanna Lowe