I’m gonna be in a STAR WARS! …Ok, now that ten-year-old me has gotten that out, I’ll clarify. Next weekend I’ll be voyaging in-character on Disney’s Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser. Yes, I’m excited. I’ve been plotting out my persona, painting my greeblies, practicing my Aurebesh– and you guessed it, researching my galactic cultures to develop recipes! Who’s up for some Corellian street food?
Click here to jump to the recipe for Corellian Buckwheat Nerf Noodles.
The Corellian Kitchen
The first reference to Corellian Buckwheat Noodles comes from Kevin Hearne’s novel Heir to the Jedi, where Luke Skywalker and Nakari Kelen must order it at a noodle restaurant with “rancor sauce” to broker spy services from a Kupohan spy on the inner rim world of Denon. You can either order them with rancor sauce or nerf nuggets and onions. However, I wanted to explore what Corellian food would taste like.
Going through Wookipedia and considering Corellian cuisine and the culture and environment of the Corellian sector’s “Five Brothers” planets, I see the United States mixed with China. Think the entire Firefly ‘verse mixed with Panem and Bladerunner into a single-star system. Sure, there’s a lot of modernity and industry. But there’s also a lot of scuffing around the edges and hometown salt-of-the-earth charm.
A Corellian can travel all corners of the galaxy, but nothing can compare to their mama’s spiceloaf with apples and salthia bean paste. Wanderlust may be in the blood, but they sure do love their tastes of home.
Corellian cuisine sounds like a mix of Midwestern and Southeastern American (apples, spiceloaf, nerf sausage, whiskey, brandy, ryshcate) blended with elements of East Asian (buckwheat noodles, salthia bean paste). Furthermore, given Coronet City‘s diverse population, income inequality, vehicle industrial complex, engineering prowess, and booming ports, it seems like a sci-fi version of Atlanta, Hong Kong, Detroit, and Chicago smushed together.
Where am I going with this? Corellian comfort food that’s a little spicy, greasy, funky, and crunchy. Just like mother used to make.
Noodles and Nerf Nuggets
Indigenous to Alderaan before taking a firm (and scruffy-looking) place in Corellian food culture, the nerf is a fluffy, salt-loving, acid-drooling, four-horned cow with a pronounced stink. So we already know they probably taste like beef — perfect for steaks, sausage, meatballs, and burgers.
The Nerf’s incredibly acidic saliva, however, likely indicates a tangy quality to their meat — that’s why I incorporated lemon pepper seasoning and Sichuan peppercorn in my nerf nuggets. When I thought of Nerf sausage, though, I pictured a take on American-style country sausage with sage and paprika — which I also included before frying the nuggets in butter.
Buckwheat soba noodles‘ flavors also tend to awaken in the presence of acid and browned butter. Given this and Nerf butter’s popularity in Corellian dishes, it also seemed the optimal fat base for my sauce. I then blended in salthia bean paste (Chinese black bean sauce) and carbosyrup (pancake syrup) for some sweet and funky-savory flavors, and tossed in some fried apples.
Finally, I realized I needed some contrasting colors for a visually appealing dish. I wouldn’t say I like adding for looks alone, though. After more research, I found two more Corellian ingredients: charbote root and seed poppers. Charbote looks suspiciously like celery, so I sliced some into ribbons with a vegetable peeler and soaked them in ice water and apple cider vinegar. They turned into curly, crispy ribbons perfect for cutting through the fatty sauce. Sliced pimentoes also seemed appropriate for the seed poppers without overwhelming the dish.
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Corellian Buckwheat Nerf Noodles
Equipment: Stovetop, three bowls, large skillet, saucepan with strainer.
- 1 lb ground beef (73/27)
- 5/8 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 TB cream
- 1/2 TB lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp ground sage
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tb Sichuan peppercorn
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
- 4 oz. soba noodles
- 1 apple, diced
- 6 stalks of celery
- 2 Tb melted butter
- 2 Tb black bean sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tb pancake syrup
- 1/2 tsp sambal or gochujang paste (optional)
- sliced pimentos
- Shave the celery into ribbons with the vegetable peeler and place in a bowl with ice water and half of the apple cider vinegar. Let sit for at least one hour to overnight.
- Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions and rinse in cold water after draining. Set aside.
- Blend the meat with breadcrumbs, egg, cream, and Sichuan peppercorn.
- Combine the lemon pepper seasoning, sage, and paprika together in the other bowl, then mix half of the contents into the bowl of meat. Stir the flour into the remaining seasoning.
- Form 12-16 meatballs from heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture.
- In a separate container, blend the melted butter with the apple cider vinegar, black bean sauce, pancake syrup, and the sambal or gochujang paste (if you want spicy noodles). Set aside.
- Add the peanut oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat until a dash of flour sizzles in the oil. Coat the meatballs in the flour mix before frying in single-layer batches until golden brown on all sides. Dry the cooked meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Drain half of the drippings, then add the apple. Stir-cook until browned, and add the soba noodles and sauce, tossing for a minute or two to heat through.
- Drain the bowl of celery shavings and arrange a bed of shavings in each bowl, forming a depression at the center. Add noodles and nuggets to the centers of the shavings and garnish with sliced pimentos before serving.