Noodles in Broth by Jan & John Belleme

Jan and John Belleme are experts in culinary and traditional Japanese foods. They have authored many wonderful books together including The Miso Book and Japanese Foods That Heal

Photo by Michael Belleme

Noodles in Broth 
by Jan & John Belleme
Serves 2-3

This popular, satisfying dish takes little time to prepare. Simply served with a garnish of scallion, Noodles in Broth makes a filling lunch or a substitute for soup in a heartier meal. You can top the noodles with a colorful assortment of steamed, simmered, or deep-fried vegetables; fish; tofu; mochi; or seitan for a complete dinner. Udon or soba are recommended.

3 cups Shiitake Dashi (see below)
8 ounces uncooked udon or soba
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice
Finely minced scallion for garnish

Cook noodles according to the directions on the package, then rinse under cold running water, drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot combine the Shiitake Dashi, salt, tamari or shoyu, and mirin. Simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and add ginger juice.

To serve, divide noodles in deep individual serving bowls. Ladle hot broth over noodles to almost cover, and garnish with minced scallion or your choice of topping.

Shiitake Dashi  
by Jan & John Belleme

Makes approximately 6 cups
This simple stock is great for soups; stews; sauces and gravies; noodle broths; and dips for tempura, fried mochi, and fried tofu. Dashi will keep for one week in the refrigerator.

6-inch piece kombu
3-4 dried shiitake
7 cups spring water

In a pot, soak kombu and shiitake in water for 15 minutes*. Remove shiitake, cut off and discard stems, and thinly slice caps. Return mushroom caps to the water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes, then remove kombu and reserve it for another use. Simmer shiitake 10-15 minutes more. If not using the shiitake in the dish, remove it and reserve it for another use.

*If you intend to use the shiitake in the dish, they will be more tender if you soak them for several hours or overnight. Add the kombu for the last 15 minutes of soaking.

Shiitake Soup and Noodle Broth
For soups, add your favourite vegetables or other ingredients to Shiitake Dashi, simmer until tender, and season with a little salt and Shoyu or Tamari and Mirin to taste (about 1 tablespoon of each). If desired, add a little fresh ginger juice.

Broth for Soba or Udon is made the same way, except that more Shoyu or Tamari is added (about 1 tablespoon for every 2 cups of broth). Increase the Mirin, if desired, and season with ginger or wasabi. Ladle the hot broth over bowls of cooked soba or udon and garnish with minced green onions.

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