It’s the holiday season, and that means appetizers and holiday parties and cookies and pies and pastries galore. But what about that rare weeknight in? Where you want something warming and holiday-ish, but also a little bit lighter, a bit of a break from all the general richness and heaviness. Oh, and quick. Please make it quick.
Adrianna of A Cozy Kitchen has the answer – a simple homemade Udon noodle soup.
The soup starts with a broth base made of water, ginger, and garlic – at which point I started to worry that maybe this soup would be lacking in the flavor department. I mean, let’s be honest, that doesn’t LOOK very appealing.
Meanwhile, boil some Udon noodles. I used dried because that’s what the local grocery store was packing.
Chop up some mushrooms – I had shiitakes from my CSA box – and some green onions, too.
Sauté those mushrooms with a bit of salt until they’re beautifully browned.
At a point uncaptured on film, you add soy sauce – a LOT of it – to the broth. Again, suspicious, though it does immediately perk up the appearance. Also, soft boil some eggs. I happen to have a fairly fantastic egg cooker (well, the Boy does, but it lives in our kitchen), which makes for easy egg cooking, but you could do it the old-fashioned way as well. And then you put it all together…
…and it works wonderfully. The salty broth with the noodles and mushrooms and creamy eggs and a hint of bite from the green onion…you’d never imagine it was as quick as it was. And it looks pretty pro, too! You win, A Cozy Kitchen. You win.
Udon in a Soy Broth with Mushrooms
Adapted slightly from A Cozy Kitchen
In the original recipe, the components are chilled and served cold (which, as someone who ate the leftovers for lunch, I can vouch for), but for winter I liked this warm and toasty. Plus, you don’t have to wait for it to chill – always a plus on a weeknight. Adrianna originally used king mushrooms and frozen Udon, so check out her version and have some fun with it!
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
5-inch knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into coins
2 garlic cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
4 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 ounces dried udon noodles
1 to 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 large eggs
1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
To cook the broth: To a medium pot, add the ginger, garlic and water. Set the pot over medium high heat and bring to a light boil. Once it reaches a boil, immediately turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. The water should be fragrant. Turn off the heat and pour in the soy sauce and give it a good mix. Fish out the ginger and garlic.
To cook the noodles: Cook noodles according to package (and taste).
To cook the mushrooms: Heat a teaspoon or two of sesame oil (you can use olive oil too) in a small sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and sprinkle them with a bit of salt; cook on both sides for a few minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook for a minute or two longer, until the mushrooms are tender.
To cook the egg: If you don’t have an amazing egg cooker, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Once the water hits a boil, drop the eggs into the water and immediately turn off the flame and cover the pan. Set your timer to 9 minutes. Run the eggs under lukewarm water and peel them. Slice them in half with a sharp knife.
To assemble: Divide the noodles amongst bowls and pour in the broth. Divide the mushrooms and eggs amongst bowls. Garnish with slivers of green onion and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Note: This is a really good dish to make ahead. Make all of the parts and stick them in the fridge. Assemble hours or days after. Everything, separately, will last for up to 3 days and can be served, as Adrianna originally intended, cold.