Because I sometimes feel the lack of motivation to spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen after work preparing for dinner (who does that anyway?), I’ve amassed a collection of flexible recipes that come together in about 1/2 an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking and I enjoy food. But cooking for 2 hours from 6.30pm onwards is not exactly the best especially when the work day has been hectic and tiring.
On those kinds of days, I like to fall back to simple and quick foods: stirfries, quick stews, pasta, noodle soups.. Which is what I’ve got for you today! I really like Japanese flavours especially ramen and soups. While sashimi and sushi isn’t that easy make at home for me, noodles in a quick miso broth takes about as much time to make as instant ramen does. Well, MY instant ramen at least because I really do load it up with as much goodies as I can.
My tub of miso is called “awasemiso.” Mine has mixed grains and fine bonito flakes in it, eliminating the need for boiling kombu dashi at all, although using homemade plain kombu or kombu bonito broth for the soup base will greatly enhance the flavour. Because awasemiso is essentially a blend between white and red miso, the flavour is complex with plenty of umami, so I didn’t really need to bother with any soup base. I did want to enhance the taste a little so I added a few added ingredients.
Speaking of ingredients, these were some that I used:
With that, I added about 1 tbsp kombu (kelp) powder. I found this at the organic store near my home. It adds a nice seaweed flavour to the soup. Beyond that, it contains tons of iodine and is good for bones and teeth. Figured it can’t do any harm. Unless you have gout. Then better check if it’s ok for you.
Because miso paste shouldn’t be boiled (reasons being the boiling water destroyed probiotic enzymes as well as alters the flavour… though I was thinking such hot water even after the heat is turned off can still kill probiotic enzymes. Oh well.. I do as I am told), I usually place some in a bowl and dissolve it with some hot soup base or water just so it mixes well in the pot.
This filled us up to the brim. We have a variation of this on occasion but I guess we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of so-called instant meals. Very comforting.
Have a great weekend! 🙂
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)
Miso Noodle Soup
(This is so easy I doubt a specific recipe will be useful. The below is just a rough outline without many specific measurements because true comforting instant meals come from bits and pieces from the forgotten corder of your pantry and crisper.)
Dried or fresh noodles, boil as per package instructions (I used no-oil dried noodles)
Vegetables (I used baby bok choy, choy sum and cherry tomatoes)
Leftover meat and/or eggs (I used various types of stuffed beancurd)
1 heaping tbsp Awasemiso Paste
1 level tbsp Kombu Powder
1 Chicken Stock Cube
600ml (about 20 fl. oz) Water
- To prepare soup, bring water to a boil and add stock cube & kombu powder. If using eggs, add eggs now and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off heat.
- In a small bowl, mix awasemiso paste with one ladleful of boiling water. Mix until paste has thinned down. Pour the thinned down paste into the pot of flavoured soup base. Stir, cover and set aside.
- Bring another pot of water to boil. Always start with the least oily ingredient. Blanch vegetables until just wilted but still crisp, 1 minute. Followed by noodles and lastly stuffed beancurd. If using leftover cooked meat, shred what you can and just set aside. No need for heating up.
- To assembly, place cooked noodles in the bowl. Pour in soup. Top with vegetables, leftover meat or beancurd.
- Serve and slurp!