Thursday, December 30, 2010

Udon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Kale in Miso Broth

I was little nervous about making this being that it has Chinese roots and all but I have to admit it was really easy, really healthy, and really good. All things we like at this time of year. I got this recipe from a vegan cookbook which I think I kind of love (thanks for the Christmas gift, Craig).

I don't know about you but I'm watching my waistline after all the abuse I've given it this holiday season. I'm not talking about a diet, but rather, just feeding my body foods that help it recover and refuel with the good stuff without feeling like I am depriving myself. Udon soup with healthy greens and veggies, check! The broth tastes just like miso soup with the volume kicked up from the mirin and soy sauce. It's mild but flavorful and just what I'm craving this night. Too often, brothy-veggie based dishes are boring and bland. Not the case here. Super-simple ingredients result in super-flavorful returns.

Speaking of that, it's beautiful out tonight. I guess you could call it the calm before the storm since we are expecting a whopper tomorrow. The photos were taken off my back deck this evening. That view always reminds me of the "little town of Bethlehem". I'm not sure why as I have never seen Bethlehem, but it's a soothing sight so maybe that's why I associate it to that. Whatever the reason it makes me happy. I love the lights of the town and the little valley I live in nestled between majestic mountains. It's breathtaking, really. Come visit. You should experience it.

These noodles are supposed to be swimming in a little broth when you serve it, but I left my mine in the broth a little too long because, as luck would have it, my husband and I were having a riveting conversation and by the time we were done the noodles had soaked all the broth up! It was still delicious.

Udon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Kale in Miso Broth
adapted from "Veganomicon"

serves 3-4

1/2 pound fresh udon noodles or dried udon noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium sized red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons mirin (optional)
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons miso (see tip)
4 cups chopped kale (see tip)
2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the udon according to the package directions, about 10 minutes. When done, drain and rinse with cool water until read to use.

Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and mushrooms in the oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are softened but still have some crunch. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for another minute.

Add the mirin, water, and miso, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add kale. Toss the mixture around with tongs until the kale had wilted. Add the noodles and use a pasta spoon to stir them into the broth for about 2 minutes.

Divide the udon and vegetables among bowls and spoon some broth over each serving.

Did you know it was good luck to eat noodles on New Years Day? It is! Go ahead and slurp away! Also, just a note, I couldn't find straight miso, so I used a miso and tofu soup mix. It was basically the same thing. TIP: The recipe is based on a strong, dark miso; if you are using a light, mellow miso, you may want to add another tablespoon or so.

TIP: I separate the leaves of kale off either ends of the tough stem so I only have tender leaf pieces. Then I soak the leaves in a bowl of water for a couple minutes to rinse off any dirt. I then remove the leaves from the water, squeezing them out as I go and placing them on a paper towel to drain, and finally, discard the water with all the grit.

Also I am trying to verify my blog with another and I need to publish this code to do it:E547BAH78JAP Please ignore, or don't. Whatever.


  1. So I copied and printed this recipe in hopes to make it this week or next because it looks and sounds delicious!!! Thanks for posting!

  2. Healthy, easy and are speaking my language! Stopping by to wish you and your family a wonderful New year filled with blessings and great things to come, my friend!

  3. The title of your blog intrigued me. And I was not mistaken in my guesses. It's really a very interesting blog from reading that it's hard to break away. Thanks for the udon recipe :)