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Japanese-style noodle soup

By January 13, 2017 No Comments

There’s nothing like a warm bowl of noodle soup to make you happy, even on a hot day! I made this soup recently from ingredients in my pantry and veggies that I had in the fridge. Its super easy and very versatile – you can use your favourite noodles and almost any vegetable you have on hand. The key is the dashi stock, particularly for a clear soup such as this one.

Ingredients

  • Dashi stock: I make vegetarian dashi using kombu seaweed and shiitake mushroom (see recipe below). You could also use an instant dashi.
  • Soba or udon noodles, or any type of rice or kelp noodle.
  • Vegetables – I used cucumber (seasonal) as well as some carrot and some shiitake left over from making the dashi stock. I also used some pre-seasoned burdock root from my local Korean grocery store. Cut the vegetables into match stick sized pieces or any size you can eat with your chopsticks.
  • Firm organic tofu or tempeh (marinated or plain depending on your tastes).

Method

  1. Cook your favourite noodles, as directed on the packet.
  2. Fry the tofu/tempeh in a little vegetable or sesame oil. When cooked, rest on some paper towel.
  3. Heat some dashi and add some sliced spring onion (the white part), carrot, cucumber and burdock root. Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just tender.
  4. Place cooked noodles in a bowl and top with the stock and vegetables and finally the tofu. Garnish with sliced spring onions (the green part).

Optional extras

  • You can fry the tofu/tempeh earlier and marinate in garlic, ginger, tamari, sliced spring onion and a little water for a few hours. Gently cook the tofu/tempeh in a little of the marinade so that the liquid is absorbed.
  • You can add some finely chopped garlic or some thinly sliced ginger to Step 3 above.
  • Season with Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese red pepper powder).
  • Serve with a side of Japanese pickles.

Dashi stock recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 large shitake mushrooms
  • 1 large piece of Kombu seaweed
  • 3 litres of water
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar (I use organic coconut or raw)

Method

  1. Wipe the seaweed with a damp paper towel to remove any sand, but don’t scrape off the white powder. Using scissors, cut into the sides of the seaweed at 3cm intervals across the grain.
  2. Add the seaweed and shiitake to the water and heat.
  3. Just before the stock reaches boiling point, remove the seaweed (can be used to make pickles or preserves).
  4. Using a spoon, remove the white scum.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the shiitake (can be used to make pickles or in a soup, stew or stir fry).
  7. Adjust to taste as desired.