Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shiitake + Soba Noodle Bowl

I probably make a version of this noodle bowl for lunch at least once a week. It's as fast as making a sandwich...though it does create a few more dishes in the sink! It's worth it to get a healthy dose of vegetables in the middle of the day, right?

This vegan noodle bowl is warm and satisfying as well as versatile. You could throw just about any vegetable up on top of a tangle of buckwheat noodles, and it'd be delicious. The secret is that almost everything gets cooked in the broth separately, so each ingredient retains its own flavor and texture while still matching the flavors in the rest of the dish. This is also good with a little pan-fried tofu or a fried egg on top.

Shiitake + Soba Noodle Bowl (for one):

*Pan-Asian Broth
1 carrot (shredded using a juilenne peeler)
1/2 cup broccoli florets
**prepared shiitake mushrooms
hot sauce (like La-Yu)
soy sauce (or Braggs)

Bring your broth up to a roiling boil. Cook the carrots in the broth until just tender. This will take about 30 seconds to a minute. Using a spyder, fish the carrots out of the broth; repeat the same process with the broccoli, and then cook the noodles in the broth until tender. Remove the noodles from the broth and reserve the broth.

Place the noodles in a bowl. Top on one side with carrots, the other side with broccoli, and in the center, add the mushrooms. Pour about a cup and a half of the hot broth over the noodle bowl. Garnish the dish with chives, hot sauce, and a little soy sauce.

*For the Pan-Asian Broth:
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
splash of rice vinegar
splash of soy sauce
splash of mirin

Combine all ingredients in a pot.

For the mushrooms:
5-6 shiitake mushroom caps (sliced into thirds)
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
pinch of smoked salt
splash of soy sauce (or Braggs)
splash of mirin

Turn on your vent hood -- this recipe creates a bit of smoke! Heat a medium-sized pan over high heat and add the sesame oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, throw the mushrooms in and toss them around. Allow them to cook for about a minute before removing the pan from the heat. Add the smoked salt, soy and mirin. Set mushrooms aside.