Looking for a noodle recipe that’s a little bit outside the box? Cat Cora swears by her Japanese Udon Noodle Soup (from her cookbook, Cooking From the Hip), saying that it brings her kids thundering down the hall when she lets them know it’s time to chow down. I’ve had (and loved) udon in restaurants — and this might be just the thing to convince me to try making my own at home (although I would swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth, since I don’t eat meat — but you all do you!).
Cat Cora’s Japanese Udon Noodle Soup
Makes 4-6 servings
12 ounces udon noodles (package dried)
8 cups chicken stock (rich or store-bought)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely julienned, peeled)
½ cup carrots (thickly sliced coins)
½ cup snow peas (trimmed and cut on the diagonal into ½-inch pieces)
½ cup brown mushrooms (small, thinly sliced)
2 tablespoon white miso
½ tablespoon soy sauce (to taste)
½ cup scallions (finely sliced, white and light green parts only)
1. Cook the udon noodles according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add the ginger and carrots and cook until the carrots are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the snow peas and cook until slightly tender but still bright green, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, cook for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.
3. Place the miso in a medium bowl and add a ladleful of hot broth. Whisk until the miso is completely dissolved, then stir the mixture back into the soup. Do not let the soup come to a boil, or the miso will lose some of its flavor. Taste the soup for saltiness and add soy sauce to taste (less soy if the broth tastes salty). Stir in the scallions. With tongs, place noodles in each soup bowl (allotting 3/4 cup for 6 servings, 11/4 cups for 4 servings). Ladle in the soup and serve hot.
Have you ever made udon at home? Game to give it a try now? —Kristen