When the weather was cold a couple of weeks ago, and we didn't have anything to eat but didn't feel like going out, we ate udon.
I love udon and never get tired of it.
Lately, it's been our go-to quick lunch or dinner.
There's endless variations on soup flavors and vegetables and/or meats you can add.
All you need are some frozen udon noodles and some dashi (soup stock).
You can learn about dashi in the Misoshiru post.
Simply collect a few vegetables.
Today I've got one shiitake mushroom, 2 nappa (the leaves) 1/4 onion, cilantro, green onion and a few sprigs of shingiku.
One portion of udon is enough for a hearty appetite.
If you're a light eater, one serving might be enough for 2.
Slice the vegetables.
One 4 g package of dashi flavors 4 cups of water for stock.
The package directions are in Japanese, so I have to wait to show it to one of my in-laws to translate it for me, but that works for me. If you like the soup stronger, use a little less water. Or a little more dashi.
You can add about 1 tablespoon shoyu (adds saltiness) and mirin (adds sweetness). Adjust the seasoning when you're almost done, because the vegetables will add a lot to your stock.
Add the mushrooms and onions to the stock.
Add the frozen noodles.
The nappa goes next.
Put the vegetables in according to how long they'll cook.
These vegetables don't take long at all to cook.
When the noodles boil, you can add a beaten egg.
I like it that way.
Let the egg sit in the pot for 20 to 30 seconds before giving it a light stir by gently moving it around a bit with your ohashi (chopsticks).
Then add your quick cooking greens.
Spinach is in this category too.
Move the greens around gently too.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Turn off the heat.
You're done, unless you want miso flavoring.
If you like miso broth, now is the time to add the miso.
Mix about a tablespoon of miso with a little water to make it easier to mix into the broth.
After you add the miso you don't want the soup to boil.
It takes a little bit away from the miso flavor when it's boiled.
I like to add ichimi pepper.
The frozen udon noodles are delicious, so much better than the udon noodles that are sold next to the dry ramen.
Add some shrimp, char siu (barbecued pork), shabu shabu beef, or maybe some chicken katsu, whatever you like.
The chewiness of the noodles is heavenly!
Meet our friend Keith.
I've known him since he was born.
He's part of our family.
I think of him as a son.
The first time he cooked for me, he was 5 years old and made fried rice. He said you need to leave a little bit of bacon grease in it for good flavor.
When he was in middle school the boys called him "The Professor".
He's been all over the comments section of FOODjimoto lately.
He even wrote a haiku about shishito peppers!
Keith and his sister Lauren have spent a lot of time with us.
This is one of my favorite summers.
This one, too.
A summer camping trip to Mammoth Lakes has become an annual event.
I'm willing to schedule the trip each year to accommodate Keith.
He's that important.
Camping is not the same without Keith.
He is a lot of fun.
I mean a LOT of fun!
Last summer, on the John Muir Trail backpacking trip, Keith took care of everyone--purified their water, carried extra weight in his pack, made sure one of the girls made it to the top of Half Dome, etc., etc., etc.
He's very generous.
Like I said, Keith is a LOT of fun!
These are the ribs he talked about eating the day he came off the JMT from backpacking. He said they were the best ribs he's ever eaten because he was SO hungry.
This guy can EAT!
And he knows what's good.
I'm excited he's consented to be a guest blogger here on FOODjimoto!
I can't wait!
Love you, Keith!
No printable recipe for this one yet.