Monday, April 26, 2010

Cooking with seaweed, part 2 - tofu noodle soup!

Here we go, time for another installment, this time using our lovely kombu dashi that we made. I love this soup, it makes me feel good and not too weighed down and, unlike a lot of things, does not upset my tummy in any way. Highly recommended after overdoing things the night before.

Kombu dashi (~4 cups, optional)
1 tbsp wakame seaweed
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp sake, mirin, or vermouth (I seriously use vermouth every time any wine-type thing is called for. It's just easier that way.)
1 3-inch piece of ginger, cut into matchsticks
2 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
1 16-oz block Chinese-style (not silken) tofu, diced
2 packages ramen noodles, any flavor (throw those nasty packets away)
about 1 tbsp miso, or to taste

1. Before you start cutting things, take your kombu stock, fish out the piece of kombu, and discard. Soak the wakame in the kombu (or in 4 cups water) stock for 20-30 mins until you're ready to cook.

Here's what the wakame looks like BEFORE:

2. After you're done chopping everything, gently lift out the wakame and drain in a colander.  Then, strain the wakame broth through a couple layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter set in a chinoise.  The wakame will now look like this:

You can see how much just a tablespoon bulked up.  This is really all you need for a pot of soup, I swear, especially if you are a seaweed novice.

3.  Once everything is chopped and strained, set a pot over medium heat and bring your drained dashi and enough water to measure oh, about 6-8 cups, to a boil.  Add the soy sauce and wine, followed by the ginger and scallions (oh go ahead, add a minced garlic clove if you really must!).  By the way, don't fret if your ginger is slightly bluish -- that's just the variety of ginger.  Most supermarkets don't bother to tell you what type of ginger you're buying, but maybe they should, because I sure did spend a lot of time worrying about the blue ginger.

After that simmers for a couple of minutes, add the tofu.

4.  Add the wakame and simmer for a couple of seconds -- you don't want to overcook it, or it'll be slimy!

5.  Add the noodles -- remember, they need only 2 minutes or so. 

6.  Once everything is cooked, taste the broth -- if it needs a little more heft, take a tablespoon of miso and mix it with some broth, then add back to the soup and mix well.  I'm not sure why, but you shouldn't boil miso; maybe it will kill all those friendly fermenty bacteria, I'm not sure.  Maybe I'll find out and tell you all.  I also like to add some sriracha at this point.

7.  EAT -- I like to use tongs to grab a bunch of noodles and settle them in my bowl before ladling the broth, tofu, and veggies over it.  Enjoy!


mr. pineapple man said...

that looks very very delicious! yum yum

EthylBenzene said...

Thanks, Mr. Pineapple, hope you enjoy!

RachelB said...

Exciting! I've got some bean thread noodles on hand that I'm thinking of substituting for the ramen. How big are the ramen packages that you're using?

EthylBenzene said...

Hi Rachel, that sounds great. I use the regular 3-oz packages. I've used bean thread noodles before, just keep an eye on the cooking times!