These days you can find the ingredients necessary to make tasty Japanese (and other Asian countries for that matter) dishes in most major supermarkets around the country. Soy sauce used to be the only common component, but now Mirin, miso paste, and even Asian vegetables - like seaweed are prevalent. Tonight's super swift dinner incorporates these flavors in a Japanese style noodle soup. Soba is a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat and it pairs nicely with mushrooms and spinach. Before you make it, you have to read the recipe, so
4 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
10 ounces soba noodles
5 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons instant dashi or 1 tablespoon miso paste (see Note)
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup finely shredded daikon
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 sheet nori seaweed, cut into 1/8-inch strips (see Note)
- Preheat the broiler.
- Spray the mushroom caps with vegetable oil cooking spray, season with salt and pepper and broil 6 inches from the heat, turning the caps once, until lightly browned and tender, about 6 minutes. Let cool, then thinly slice the mushrooms.
- In a small bowl, stir the sugar into the soy sauce and mirin until dissolved.
- While the mushrooms broil, in a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the soba noodles, stirring once or twice, until just tender, about 8 minutes.
- Drain the noodles reserving the boiling water, rinse under cold water and drain again thoroughly.
- Add the boiling water and instant dashi to the saucepan. Add the tofu and shiitake and simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach.
- Transfer the soba to 4 deep bowls and spoon the dashi mixture on top. Garnish the soba with the daikon, scallion and nori and serve right away, passing the soy sauce mixture alongside.