Japanese Noodle Soup: Serves 6
8 cups( 2- 32 ounce cartons) chicken or vegetable broth
3 tsp. instant dashi *
1 heaping Tbs. dried wakame (seaweed)*
5 dried shitake mushrooms
1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, cut into one inch by one inch strips
1 small head napa cabbage, cut into slices*
5 scallions, chopped
1 16 oz. bag Pan fried noodle Hong Kong style or any dried noodle*
1 cup shelled edaname (soy beans)
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
2 Tbs. miso
Shichimi Togarashi (red pepper and sesame seed spice blend)*
1. Heat the broth to boiling in a large pot and add the dashi.
2. Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms for 15 minutes in a bowl of ½ cup hot water placing a smaller bowl on top of the mushrooms, to make sure they are immersed.
3. Soak the wakame also in a bowl of 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. It will expand to about 1 cup.
4. When the broth has come to a boil add the ginger, tofu,edamame and cabbage and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is just cooked.
5. Once the mushrooms have soaked, slice them and add them to the broth along with the soaking liquid which has been strained of particles. Also, add the reconstituted wakame which has been rinsed and coarsely chopped. Discard soaking liquid.
6. Meanwhile, as the soup is cooking, either cook the noodles according to directions or, if you are using the pan fried noodles, fry them in a little oil and add ½ cup water and cover to allow them to steam for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue frying until lightly brown and crispy, stirring frequently. I do this in two batches.
7. Mix the miso with a little hot broth until free of lumps and add to soup for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Miso should not be boiled.
8. To serve: Ladle soup in a large bowls, sprinkle each serving with scallion and serve the noodles, and shichimi togarashi separately for people to serve themselves.
Feel free to use your culinary expression to add or omit any ingredients. This is a very free form dish which you can tailor make to your taste.
* Note about ingredients: Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections. I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for. The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods. But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient. The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE: "FOOD THESAURUS"