This dish is another one of those pantry-clearing efforts. When warm weather arrives, I get all about soba in the kitchen; it makes for a satisfying meal and, like other noodles, it is endlessly versatile because you can toss it with whatever. I started with the beautiful purple shiso leaves and decided to build it around a colorful presentation, deriving the majority of the flavor/umami from a butter-white miso sauce.
One of the ingredients listed below is yasai fumi furikake. Furikake refers to various rice seasonings which can be found in the Japanese section of most Asian supermarkets and some domestic supermarkets. (You may recall shiso furikake popping up in other recipes.) The yasai–Japanese for “vegetable”–version includes sesame seeds, seaweed, salt, sugar and dried carrots, spinach, pumpkin, celery & mustard greens. Furikake is a great way to boost flavor and it is nice to keep handy.
N.B. The photos also include crab meat as an ingredient in the recipe. After making the dish, I decided it was a superfluous element and decided not to include it here, with the added bonus that the recipe is now vegetarian-friendly. I think the main issue was that it was just cheap-ish claw meat and sort of got lost in the sauce, literally and figuratively. I would not be opposed to some jumbo lump crab meat on top next time, however.