Executive Chef Anthony Ricco, a Brooklyn native, has been a part of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s empire since 2005 when he joined Spice Market. When I was cutting school to watch 21 Jump Street with my friend Christine, Chef Ricco skipped class to prepare meals for his friends. He followed his passion by taking hospitality classes at the New York City College of Technology and took a job at China Grill. Chef Ricco furthered his technique at ICE and now he has become one of New York City’s hottest chefs.
I asked Chef Ricco to share a recipe that embodies summer. He told me, “I love cooking in the summer because everyone seems to be in a good mood and excited about the weather. We have such long winters here that when summer comes we try and embrace every moment of it. The best and freshest ingredients come out to play during the summer also.” I could not agree more.
When asked why he thinks cucumber soba noodles are the epitome of summer cooking, he said “I created this dish because I love cold soups and I love noodles. The cucumber broth is very light and has beautiful floral notes from the kaffir lime and cucumber. It balances very well with the deep flavor of the buckwheat noodle. Overall it is a great summer dish to enjoy.”
I’m not sure about you, but I’m ready to get cooking:
Chef Anthony Ricco’s Cucumber Soba Noodles
To make Soup Base…
1 L Bottled water
1 Kombu seaweed torn into a 3 in pc
2 pc Hothouse seedless cucumber, peeled and rough chopped
10 pc Kaffir lime leaves, rough chopped
2 tsp Lite soy sauce
¼ cup Brown rice vinegar
2 tsp Kosher Salt
Soak kombu in bottled water for 30 minutes until kombu gets soft. Puree cucumber and kaffir leaves in a blender until smooth. Pass through a chinois. Remove kombu from Fiji water, squeezing all of the water from the kombu.
Add cucumber puree, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt to water base. Whisk until combined. Keep chilled.
To make dish..
4 cup Soba noodle, cooked
2 Hothouse seedless cucumber, fine julienne
6 oz Soup base
½ cup Mint leaves chopped fine
6 Scallions sliced thin
1 Serrano chili
2 tsp White sesame seeds, toasted
2 tsp Korean red pepper powder
Combine noodles and cucumber in a bowl and toss until mixed. Plate noodles and cucumber in the bowl. Pour chilled soup base over noodles. Mix scallion, chilies, sesame seeds, pepper powder place on top of noodles.
To taste Chef Anthony Ricco’s creations (and for some great people watching), head to Spice Market located at 03 West 13th Street New York, NY 10014 (212) 675-2322