Shortcut Udon Noodle Soup
So i just returned from the grocery with:
Udon noodles (the refrigerated kind)
Fish cake (balls)
Pickled radish (the bright yellow ones)
Light miso (shiro, I think)
Dried Seaweed (the thin kind that you soak and put into miso soup)
The shaker of japanese seasonings usually served with noodle soups (Sorry I don't have the names - the groceries are in the car with the sleeping baby)
I already have:
Dried shiitake mushrooms
What are your suggestions on how to combine some of these (or things not listed, but likely to be in any western pantry) for a quick udon noodle soup?
when i make quick udon at home, i cook almost everthing separately and combine them right before serving. so i would start with two pots, one large to boil the noodles in, and a smaller one for the broth.
for the broth, combine water, some soy sauce, a little mirin, and dashi powder and bring to a simmer. if you like dried shiitakes, you should soak them in hot water for a few minutes and use the soaking water in the broth. slice the shiitakes and add to broth.
i like to make a thin omelette out of the egg and then slice it into thin shreds. for the shrimp, i like to thaw these in running water and saute them with a little oil, salt and pepper until they become somewhat carmelized.
when the noodles are done (this should just take 2 minutes or so), drain them.
bring the broth to a boil and add the fish cake balls to heat through. add salt to taste.
place the noodles in a large ceramic bowl and top with a few shrimp, egg shreds, and sliced scallions. fish out some mushroom pieces and fish cakes from the broth and place on top as well. then pour the boiling broth on top. serve immediately with sliced pickled radish on the side. as for the japanese seasonings (i think you mean the red togarashi), i would sprinkle that on to taste right before eating.
if you want to add the tofu and dried seaweed, i would add those at the same time as the fish cake balls.
You've got great ingredients for a quick udon soup. We've been eating them all winter - they are a favorite of my 2 year old. You can really use any combination of your ingredients. I usually add just a little instant dashi and a tablespoon or so of miso. It's not really traditional, but I like the way it tastes. I then add tofu, some veggies and a little soy. I always top with scallions for something fresh and green and shake on some of the spicy seasonings. DH likes them best with added shrimp and thinly sliced cabbage cooked in the broth. It's really up to your imagination! The only thing that I think might taste funny is the pickled radish. But who knows! FYI, for the future, they also sell a Dashi flavored miso that I have been using recently. Good luck.