This is what we’ve been in the mood for lately:
It’s our version of chilled somen noodles. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and perfect for a hot summer day.
Chilled Japanese Noodles in Dipping Broth
This dish consists of three basic components: noodles, broth, and garnishes.
Traditional somen noodles are made from wheat, so I substituted rice noodles. Annie Chun’s Pad Thai noodles turned out to be the perfect width and texture.
- Cook the noodles according to directions on box, rinse in cold water, and drain. (These noodles can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated–just run them under cold water before serving.)
3-4 cups water
4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
2-3 three-inch squares of dried kombu seaweed (You can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores.)
1 tps sea salt
1 carrot cut into sticks
(As always, measurements are approximate. )
- Rinse shiitake mushrooms and kombu lightly under running water.
- Add shiitake mushrooms, kombu, and carrots to water in a pot. Bring to boil.
- Add salt.
- Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until ingredients are very tender.
- Remove from heat. When broth is no longer steaming, remove shiitake mushrooms, kombu, and carrots from the liquid and set aside to cool.
- Strain the remaining liquid broth through a paper towel into a glass container. Chill in refrigerator. (This broth will keep for a day or so if refrigerated.)
You can choose one or all of the following as garnishes, according to your tastes:
Shredded sushi seaweed
Grated daikon radish (I use a Japanese grater, which turns the daikon into a yummy slush.)
Roasted sesame seed
Shiso Fumi Furikake (perilla rice seasoning)
Cooked, chilled, and chopped leafy vegetables (I used some leftover Napa cabbage)
The ingredients cooked with the broth, sliced (carrots, shiitake mushrooms, kombu)**:
Serving & Eating
On a plate, arrange the chilled noodles with the garnishes you’ve chosen (except for the shredded sushi seaweed, grated daikon radish, and Shiso Fumi Furikake, which are best added directly to the broth just before eating).
Serve 1/2 cup or so of chilled broth in a small bowl.
To eat, simply dip a biteful or so of noodles and a few garnishes at a time in the bowl of broth. (Add a small amount of shredded sushi seaweed, grated daikon radish, or Shiso Fumi Furikake to the bowl too, if you chose to use any of these garnishes.)
This is one of my favorite summertime dishes. It’s healthy, refreshing, and as a bonus, the broth is rich in vitamins and minerals such as iodine and potassium.
* Made in a larger quantity and used hot, this is the same broth used for udon or soba noodles.
** These three ingredients can alternately be used as sushi fillings for another meal. Two birds, one stone!
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