Japanese flavours have me completely mesmerized with the taste of UMAMI... What a delicious sounding word, and a delicious tasting compound that happens when our tastebuds perceive a savoury flavour, triggered by the amino acid glutamate and discovered by Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. (Sorry, I geeked out a little bit there.) The savoury flavours from seaweed and shitake mushrooms contribute depth and unique flavours to this soup - brought to you by Jessica Williams, Dietetics Student (and future private practice Dietitian!).
Okinawan Miso Soup with Buckwheat Noodles (GF, V)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
4 sticks dried kombu seaweed
2 cups water
1.5 oz 100% soba (buckwheat) noodles
3 tbsp miso paste
2 cups vegetable broth
3 yellow or orange carrots, sliced thin
2 cups napa cabbage, chopped
3.5 oz soft tofu, cubed
1/2 cup onion, minced
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup pea shoots
Soak kombu seaweed during the day or overnight. Use the same water to cook the noodles, along with the kombu seaweed. Do not drain the water - the starchy and seaweed soaking water are now an excellent source of iodine and provide the traditional cloudiness of miso soup! While the noodles are cooking, add the veggie broth and carrots, cook for 4 minutes on medium-high heat, and stir in the miso. Add in the tofu, mushrooms, green onion, and cabbage; cook for 5 minutes.
Serve hot, top with crunchy pea shoots or bean sprouts, and enjoy!