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  • Jo Jo Yee

Noodles in ginger miso with Chinese greens recipe




When I was growing up, my mother would make noodle soups all the time. With four kids in the house, it was the perfect way for her to prepare a quick, easy meal and to use up whatever was available in the fridge.  Small quantities of a variety of vegetables like pak choi or choy sum would be thrown into steaming hot broth, along with any leftover meat that was available at the time. When I eventually left home and had to fend for myself, this was a dish that featured prominently in my weekly meal plan.  With my limited cooking skills, it was a fast, healthy hot meal that well and truly satisfied.


There are only a few rules when it comes to making noodle soups.  One, you need some broth or stock.  Two, you need noodles.  Three, you need some "toppings" or fillings - which is usually a combination of whatever meat or vegetables happen to be in the fridge.


This is also a perfect recipe for the kitchen garden - pull up a couple of carrots, harvest the outer leaves of some home grown pak choi and away you go!


Broth

For this Japanese-style noodle soup, I am using Miso paste.  It comes in the form of a ready made paste and is a quick way to make a tasty broth.  Ginger, smashed to release its fragrance and juices, adds a lovely, warm zing.  If you can't find miso, then vegetable, pork or chicken stock could also be used as substitutes.


Noodles

Noodles usually comes in two forms : dried or fresh (also called straight-to-wok).  For this recipe, I am using dried soba noodles, which are Japanese thin brown buckwheat noodles, but you can also try udon, ramen or even egg noodles.  If using dried noodles, cooking them separately in a pot of water before adding them back to the broth will help to prevent the soup from becoming gluggy.  Fresh noodles, however, can be added directly.



Fillings

This is the part where you can get creative. If you have any roast chicken leftover from the night before, then this makes a perfect addition to noodle soup. A little of it goes a long way, and if there isn't quite enough, just add more veg. Most vegetables will work for this recipe, whatever you have in the garden: carrots, spinach, kale, Chinese greens (Choy Sum, Pak Choi, Chinese cabbage), broccoli or even leftover brussels sprouts.  Just remember to cut the vegetables up into small pieces so they cook quickly, and always add them into the saucepan in order of cooking time.




Noodles in ginger miso with Chinese greens recipe

makes 2 servings


Ingredients

1-inch piece of ginger, smashed

2 1/2 tablespoons miso paste

3 cups water

2 bundles (125g) dried soba noodles

120g leftover roast chicken, shredded (optional)

3 fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved

1 carrot, sliced into thin matchsticks

1 pak choi, stems separated from leaves

2 spring onions, finely sliced, to garnish



Method

  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.

  2. Place the water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add miso paste, ginger and carrots and cook for 2 minutes.

  3. Add chicken and pak choi stems and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Then add pak choi leaves, cooked noodles and let simmer for a further 1-2 minutes until chicken is piping hot.

Before serving, discard the ginger. Ladle into 2 bowls and serve garnished with spring onions.