Recipe: Lazy Asian Noodles

Mengsha: This week, I’d like to share with you our noodle recipe. This is what we make at home when don’t want to make any effort, and so all of the measurements are made by eye. Because of this, the word “recipe” is actually a bit of a misnomer. Use it rather as a guide, and sub in your favorite ingredients. Still, I’ve listed the ingredients at the bottom if you’re the measuring type. Total cook time, including washing and chopping, should be around 10-15 minutes for two servings.

Here we go.

First, the noodle base. Fill your pot with water. Add shiitake mushrooms and heat it on high. In a small bowl mix miso and soy sauce until there aren’t any lumps, and then add it to the water. If the water’s not too hot yet, I like to pour some water into the bowl to dissolve the miso further before I pour it in. Make sure you taste as you go! Slice the white ends of your green onion, it doesn’t matter how thinly, and add those.

Now add your first round of ingredients: tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots. These ingredients usually take a little longer to cook, and more importantly, won’t overcook. Soft/silken tofu, fried tofu (the kind with holes), and frozen and thawed tofu are my favorites. You really want something that will soak up all of that yummy soup. You can also drop in an egg around now, but I like mine runny, so I usually add it at the very end. Beat it first and add it as you stir if you like a more “egg drop” style of soup, or keep it whole.

Now is a good time to wash and roughly chop your leafy green of choice. We use whatever happens to be in the fridge: bok choy, spinach, tong ho, you choy, arugula, dandelion, etc. You want something that wilts down and cooks pretty quickly (not broccoli, for example), but other than that, it’s up to you.

When the water boils, add your noodles. Spread them out around the sides of the pot so they don’t stick to each other as they soften and sink into the pot. Give it a good stir.

Once the water boils again, it’s time to add your greens. Just pile them on and stir them in. If you like your egg runny, add it before the veggies. If you like it almost raw, add it on top of the leaves and it’ll barely cook at all.

Once the vegetables are cooked the way you like them (almost immediately for baby spinach, to about 90 secs if they’re sturdier), ladle it into bowls and top with sliced green onion (the green part), sesame oil, hot sauce, bamboo in chili oil, kimchi, you name it. Enjoy!

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Ingredients (for each serving)

Soup base:

1 bowl of water. Use whatever size bowl you plan on serving in. The water will all get absorbed.

Miso, about 2 teaspoons. Use less if it’s darker, more if it’s lighter. You can substitute rice vinegar if you want a more Chinese taste, but I wouldn’t use both vinegar and miso.

Soy sauce to taste, about 2 teaspoons

2 Shittake mushrooms. I like dried ones. They keep, and have a stronger flavor, and soak up more soup.

1 Green onion, sliced

1 handful Dried Asian-style noodles of your choice. Not packaged ramen though. Almost everything has a better texture than that. Not dried pasta either, which takes too long to cook. A good way of measuring a serving of stick-shaped noodles is the diameter of the handful – aim for 2 cm across per serving.

A source of protein:

1 Egg and/or

1/3 cup tofu (fried, soft/silken, or frozen and thawed)

Vegetables:

1 cup leafy veggie of your choice.

A handful of Enoki or beech mushrooms (optional)

Your favorite toppings 🙂

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