Noodles are my go-to.
You know how some food writers are always like ‘this dish is my faaaaavourite’ only to find two pages later their promiscuity is flagrant as they anoint another dish their favourite. Well noodles are my go-to.
Tacos are my FAVOURITE dish, don’t get me wrong – no, Mac & Cheese is… no it’s ribs actually… meh… I don’t have to decide. But noodles are my number one for when I have no idea what to cook.
I read that Japanese noodles can often be served to you hiya-atsu (ひやあつ) which means ‘hot-cold’ meaning the soup is served to you piping hot and the noodles are served to you cold. As someone who has burned his face more times than he can count on a noodle, I fell out of my skin. This would save me.
This is my perfect meal. It makes total sense too, because sometimes noodles can get really sloppy and grim in a soup because they will continue to cook in the hot broth, but when eaten this way, you can enjoy ever noodle fresh as you dunk it in the soup, swirl it around and slop it in your mouth. To me, it’s the perfect way to enjoy a noodle soup.
What’s more is that this recipe comes together on your countertop. No fussing about with pots and pans and wrangling ingredients from one pot to the other – all you need is two bowls and a kettle.
I have specified dashi in my recipe, which is a Japanese soup stock that packs a deep, umami flavour which often contains kombu (dried kelp) and katsuobushi (dried bonio flakes) and is common base for miso soup. You will notice the difference for not using this so if you can get some, I strongly recommend it, but if you can’t, you could settle for a vegetable or chicken stock cube.
You will usually see a soup of this ilk made with udon noodles, which I often prefer, but I do love a thick tangle of rice noodles with these too.
50g rice noodles
5g dried porcini mushrooms
15 fresh ginger
1 sachet of dashi
2 spring onions
A handful of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of miso paste
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1. Fill and boil a kettle.
2. Grab yourself a nest of rice noodles and sling them in a bowl. Cover with some boiling water and put a plate on top of the bowl, trapping in the heat. Leave them to crack on with your soup.
3. Take the porcini mushrooms and pour them into another bowl. Cover them with a little of the boiled water to give them a head start on softening while you prepare the rest of your soup.
4. This is just a chopping assembly line now, perfect for if you’ve got your muckers around or want to whip your partner into shape. As thin as you’ve got patience for, finely slice the fresh ginger, spring onions and coriander and drop into the bowl of mushrooms. On this, squeeze the juice of a lime, the soy sauce, the honey and the miso paste.
5. Drain your rice noodles in a sieve or colander and blast them with cold tap water. Shake off an excess water and fling them in a bowl. Drizzle with sesame oil and a little lime juice.
6. Top up the bowl of vegetables and mushrooms with water from the kettle and stir up. Leave the hot kettle soak the soup ingredients for about 15 minutes so that the mushrooms can continue soften.
7. Serve the hot broth and the cold noodles.
I use chopsticks just to make up for the lazy nature in which the meal is thrown together.