Three weeks in our food box subscription from Marley Spoon, this was one of the favourites so far: a delightful udon noodle soup.
The recipe (for 2 persons!)
- 2 spring onions, chopped finely on an angle
- 2g Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese 7-spices mix)
- 10g black sesame seeds, toasted
- 15ml sesame oil
- 30ml light soy sauce
- 50g miso paste
- 20g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 100g shiitake mushrooms, sliced in 1cm ribbons
- 200g udon noodles (pre-cooked)
- 200g firm tofu, in 1cm slices
- 300g baby paksoi (take off outer leaves, cut the remaining cores lengthwise and wash all thoroughly)
- Bring 800ml of water, the grated ginger and the miso paste to a boil in a medium-sized pan. As soon as the broth starts boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer
- In the meantime heat a medium size frying pan on low heat and dry-roast the sesame seeds until fragrant
- Add the shiitake mushrooms to the soup and continue to simmer
- Take the sesame seeds from the pan. Reheat the pan on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the tofu until golden and crispy (about 2-3 minutes on each side) and remove from the pan
- Add the light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, soba noodles and the baby paksoi cores to the soup and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Take the pan from the heat, add the outer paksoi leaves and let them wilt
- Serve the soup in bowls, add the fried tofu and garnish with the spring onion, roasted sesame seeds and sesame oil. Add the shichimi togarashi to taste.
What worked and what didn’t:
As said, it was one of our favourites. A complex broth due to the soy sauce, grated ginger and miso paste, with thick udon noodles, still crunchy veggies and hint of smokiness from the sesame oil and seeds. The finishing touch of shichimi togarashi is the clincher and as it packs both heat and tons of flavour. I recommend to use it liberally in this noodle soup.
Shichimi togarashi translates from Japanese to “seven tastes chili pepper.” as “Shichi” means “seven”, “mi” means “taste” and “togarashi” is the Japanese word for “chili pepper”. It is a common spice mix and usually consists of coarsely ground red chili pepper, ground sanshō pepper, roasted orange peel, sesame seed, hemp seed, ground ginger and seaweed. Some mixes add or substitute the above mentioned ingredients with poppy seed, yuzu peel, rapeseed or shiso.
I used the one supplied by Marley Spoon, but have the Euroma Original Spices brand at home myself (curated by 3 star Michelin chef Jonnie Boer) which is widely available in the Dutch supermarkets. That blend contains szechuan pepper, sesame seeds, black pepper, nigella seeds, citrus peel, ground ginger, paprika, fennel seed and cayenne pepper.
The recipe is accurate, easy to follow and serves 4-6 persons.
If you want to give the broth more depth you can add some extra grated ginger or miso paste to taste.
Verdict: 9/10; Will definitely be made again