Udon Miso Soup
I find a hot bowl of miso soup so damn good that I dream about it. A steaming bowl with tofu and green onions is absolute heaven in morning. The following recipe is a bit of an upgrade; my go-to lunch or dinner as of late. It’s also a bit of a cheat since traditionally you should cook the noodles separately from the broth, but some days/nights/months I just can’t be bothered. Just note that cooking the noodles separately, draining and rinsing with cold water and then adding them to the soup is the proper way to prepare udon.
It’s super-simple to make (hence, the cheat), healthy, low in fat, and very satisfying on a cold day. Or on a summer day, seeing that it is JUNE here in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m just like that; I like my cozy in both winter and summer.
Dried noodles are fine for this dish; they just don’t have that extra chewy texture that fresh-frozen noodles do. However, dried udon will work in a pinch. Either way, this recipe is EASY. Trust me on this; I make this soup almost everyday.
For the Shiitake-Wakame Dashi
3 cups filtered water
3 dried shiitakes
For the Soup
3 cups shiitake-wakame dashi
1/4 teaspoon dried wakame flakes
1 two-inch piece of daikon
1 200g packet of fresh/frozen udon noodles
2 leaves kale
4-6 snow pea pods
1-2 tablespoons white miso paste
Tamari and sliced green onions for garnish
First prepare the dashi: add the shiitakes to a medium size pot, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Your dashi is ready! That was easy.
While the dashi is simmering, prepare the vegetables for the soup. Lightly scrub the piece of daikon, and slice into thin half moons. Pull the stems off of the snow peas, then slice cross-length into half-inch pieces. Pull the kale leaves from the stem, then slice into thin ribbons.
Carefully fish out the dried mushrooms, slice and add back into the dashi. Add the wakame flakes and the daikon to the pot, raise the heat to a low boil and let cook for 5 minutes.
While the daikon is cooking, ladle out about a quarter cup of broth and place into a small bowl. Add the miso paste and whisk with a fork or small whisk to make a slurry. Try to get the mixture as smooth as possible.
Add the noodles, and cook according to package instructions. Two minutes before the noodles are done, add in the kale and snow peas.
Once noodles and vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat and add in the miso slurry. Stir gentle and then let sit one or two minutes. When you see the signature clouds of miso appear, your soup is ready.
Pour into a bowl, drizzle with tamari and garnish with green onions.
Serves 1 -2 (1 for a meal, or 2 for a stater)
Okay, so I love miso, so I would probably add more like, three tablespoons, but if you are new to using miso, start out with one or two teaspoons; you can always add more later on. I also usually will add two types of miso; one dark —like barley miso; and one light—like white or yellow. Once you get used to using miso, feel free to experiment with type and proportions.
Miso is full of healthy digestive enzymes, so make sure you pull your soup off the heat before you add the miso. The enzymes will die if added to boiling liquid
(note that steaming is fine, but boiling is not). Boiling is okay if you are adding miso purely as a flavoring, but for real miso soup, let the soup stop bubbling completely before adding in the miso magic.
Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables in this soup; I simply find the green of the snow peas, kale and green onions a wonderful combination--for both the eyes and the tastebuds.