2 1/2 Cups light vegetable broth, homemade or good-quality canned
3/4 Cup water
1 OZ dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
2 TBS thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
4 Cloves garlic, smashed
2 3-Inch lemongrass stalks, outer dark layers removed, all but bottom 4 inches cut off and discarded
2 Dried Thai chilies
2 TSP soy sauce
1 TSP unseasoned rice vinegar
Red Pepper, sliced thin
Green beans, trimmed and cut in halves
Japanese-style udon noodles
Sliced green onions
Tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
Sambal oelek (chili paste)
Last weekend we stopped by a Japanese market the next town over, and it was so much fun! The shelves were packed with weird and exotic items. And of course, all the labels were in Japanese, so there were some things we couldn't even identify! But you couldn't mistake the sushi rice, nori sheets and beautiful sashimi-grade fish. I stocked up on noodles and sauces like sambal oelek (a delicious spicy chili paste, which like sriacha, I can put on everything). In honor of this adventure, I'm making a quick vegetable udon soup. This broth recipe I adapted from Bon Appetit is quick and easy. You can either serve right away, or make a day ahead. You can use pretty much any vegetables you like for this dish, and you can even add slices of steak or shrimp instead of tofu.
Bring broth and water to simmer in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chilies. Cover; simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, remove mushrooms and set aside (if using whole, remove stems and slice). Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer into another large pot; discard solids in strainer. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Keep warm.
In the meantime bring a pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook green beans until crisp-tender. Remove and set aside. Add noodles; cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring often. Drain and rinse.
Divide noodles among bowls. Divide mushrooms, red pepper, green onions and tofu among bowls, each in separate mound. Ladle broth over and serve with sambal oelek.
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- The Hungry Yuppie
- The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.