Japanese Noodle Soup
You can adapt this light, satisfying soup to your schedule. Done in about five hours, it can continue to simmer in the slow cooker up to four hours more without turning mushy. The broth just gets richer.
- ½ head garlic (6 unseparated cloves)
- 4 green onions, divided
- 2 5-inch pieces dried kombu or kelp
- 7 coins sliced fresh ginger (from 2-inch piece)
- ¼ cup low-sodium tamari sauce
- 3 Tbs. mirin or sake
- 2 tsp. sugar, optional
- 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 3 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 4 cups (8 oz.) cooked thin rice noodles or udon noodles, or 2 8-oz. pkg. shirataki noodles, rinsed, drained, and snipped into spaghetti-length pieces
- 2 cups snow peas and/or thinly sliced napa cabbage
- 4 tsp. sesame oil for garnish, optional
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds for garnish, optional
1. Cut garlic head half through middle to expose centers of cloves. Place garlic in slow cooker. Trim white parts from green onions, and add white parts to slow cooker along with kombu and ginger. Chop green tops of green onions, and set aside.
2. Add tamari, mirin, sugar (if using), and 8 cups water to slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low 4 to 8 hours. Strain, and discard solids. Return broth to slow cooker, add mushrooms and carrots, cover, and cook 1 hour more, or until vegetables are tender.
3. Divide noodles among four large bowls. Top with snow peas, then ladle broth over top. Garnish with chopped green onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds (if using).
March 2014 p.39