Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Miso udon - a warm and hearty noodle soup, Japanese style!
As I've warned you before, my udon obsession has just started. I had this miso udon at a cafetaria a while back and I thought it was the perfect comfort food - vegetarian, warm broth, hearty noodles and rich umami flavour. As with most of my recipes, this one takes less than fifteen minutes to cook with minimal preparation.
There are different types of miso - white miso, red miso - and it's made by fermenting soy beans. Miso is relatively salty with a rich back-of-the-pallet flavour which I can best describe as umami. Miso has also been claimed as a superfood; it's rich in protein and the fermentation process fills the miso with live, healthy bacteria. As such, miso shouldn't be overcooked; rather, most recipes I looked at required turning off the heat before finally adding miso.
I postponed making this for over a week because I forgot to buy kombu flakes, which I need in order to make dashi stock, which I need to make miso soup. But then I took a closer look at the packaging and I realized that the miso paste I bought already had dashi in it. According to one website, dashi type miso is the best way to make authentic miso soup. Problem solved! So, if you're a beginner like me, I would advice getting dashi type miso and save yourself the extra step of making dashi stock.
Miso udon is generally served with just some nori, spring onions and tofu. I wanted to make this into a proper meal so I added some oyster mushrooms and kai lan. If you've never seen oyster mushrooms, this is what they look like:
Gorgeous, right? Of course, you can include any kind of vegetables you like but remember to adjust your cooking time to make sure everything cooks evenly. I would recommend leafy greens like spinach or broccoli rabe, and enoki mushrooms and bean sprouts.
Continue reading for the full recipe.
Miso udon with oyster mushrooms and kai lan
1 packet cooked udon
3 cups of water
1/3 cup diced firm tofu
1/2 cup shredded oyster mushroom
4-5 stems of kai lan
1 tbs dashi-type miso paste
1 tbs sliced green onions, reserve some for garnish
1 cup hot water
1. In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil on medium high heat.
2. Add shredded mushrooms, kai lan and tofu cubes.
3. Meanwhile, dissolve the miso paste in 1 cup of hot water.
4. When the vegetables are cooked (about 4-5 minutes), turn off heat and add dissolved miso, spring onions and udon noodles. Stir gently to combine for 3-4 minutes.
5. Ladle noodles, vegetables and tofu into a bowl, top with a generous amount of soup and garnish with spring onions. Serve hot.
Serves one very hungry person or two small eaters.