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.
- 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).
- Cook your favourite noodles, as directed on the packet.
- Fry the tofu/tempeh in a little vegetable or sesame oil. When cooked, rest on some paper towel.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- Add the seaweed and shiitake to the water and heat.
- Just before the stock reaches boiling point, remove the seaweed (can be used to make pickles or preserves).
- Using a spoon, remove the white scum.
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the shiitake (can be used to make pickles or in a soup, stew or stir fry).
- Adjust to taste as desired.