June 6, 2016

Spaghetti: To Salt or Not to Salt/スパゲティ:塩を入れるべきか、入れざるべきか

That's a frequently asked question, and you can easily determine whether to salt your spaghetti by using my non-boil spaghetti cooking method.

Recently, I have bought two 5-kg bags of Buitoni spaghettini at a "recycle shop" (secondhand shop).
At 980 yen a bag, they were a real bargain. (Well, no one else seemed interested. The bags sat in the shelf for days or maybe weeks.)
Anyway, my recipe calls for:
100 g spaghetti
140 g water
1.4 g salt (for making 1% salt solution)
I used 100 x 1.5 = 150 g of spaghettini, 140 x 1.5 = 210 g of water, and 1.4 x 1.5 = 2.1 g of salt.

1. Put them all in a container. Leave for at least 1 hour.
スパゲティ 100 g
水 140 g
塩 1.4 g(1%の塩水を作るため)
私は、スパゲティを100 x 1.5 = 150 g、水を140 x 1.5 = 210 g、塩を1.4 x 1.5 = 2.1 g使いました。

1. 材料を全部容器に入れ、1時間以上放置します。
2. Transfer to a plate.
2. お皿に移します。 
3. Wrap with plastic wrap, and microwave for 1 min. (for a 800-W microwave).
(I microwaved for 1 minute and 30 seconds because I increased all the ingredients by a factor of 1.5.)
3. ラップをして、1分間電子レンジで加熱します(800Wの電子レンジの場合)。
4. At this point, not all the spaghetti is done. Stir with cooking chopsticks.
4. この時点では、スパゲティは完全に火が通っていません。菜箸(さいばし)でかき混ぜます。 
5. Add some pasta sauce.
6. Wrap again, and microwave for 30 seconds or so.
5. パスタソースを載せます。
6. 再度ラップして、電子レンジで30秒程加熱します。
I found the salted spaghetti slightly tastier than my usual un-salted version. Considering the fact that I consumed all of the 2.1 g of salt, however, I really don't want to salt spaghetti again.
塩を入れたスパゲティは、いつもの入れていないものより少し美味しいと思いました。でも、2.1 gの塩を全部摂取したと思うと、二度と塩を入れたいとは思いません。

I'll leave my spaghetti unsalted whenever possible. Spaghetti is a miracle food for those who have to limit the intake of salt. I'm not hypertensive, but at my age, I need to be cautious (and my father is hypertensive). All types of Japanese noodles, udon, hiyamugi, and somen, as well as ramen noodles, contain a considerable amount of salt.


muskratbyte said...

I had no idea spaghetti noodles were so expensive in Japan!

Hiroyuki said...

muskratbyte: Amazon sells the same product for 1,713 yen, whichi is probably the lowest in Japan. Most other online stores sell it for higher than 2,000 yen.

Stacy D said...

I agree that compared to udon for example, spaghetti has an amazing flavour without the need to add salt.

However if you were to ask my mother to cook spaghetti in plain water vs. heavily salted water she would stare at you like you are crazy. :)
I personally love spaghetti cooked with salt but I'm lucky that I'm young I don't have to worry about the health issues.

Hiroyuki said...

Stacy D: I was like you, and almost everyone is like you, I suppose. As you get older, you will be like me (laugh).