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Udon & Vegetable Soup

4 soup  
40 min  
Simple to make and loaded with flavors, this recipe works well as a soup course or as a light main dish. It's the kind of soup you need to serve with both a spoon and chopsticks.


Black Mushrooms
Wakame (1)
Swiss Chard, white (2)  
Napa Cabbage
Hon Dashi granules (3)
Udon Noodles (4)
Prep   -   (30 min - 15 min work)
  1. Soak MUSHROOMS in warm water for 1/2 hour. Discard the stems and slice the caps into 1/8 inch strips.
  2. Rinse or soak WAKAME (see Note-1) and cut it into strips about 3/8 inch wide and 1-1/2 inches long.
  3. Remove the central rib from CHARD and cut into strips about 3/8 inch wide and 3 inches long. Weight is measured after removing the big central rib.
  4. Slice CABBAGE leaves crosswise about 3/8 inches wide. Slice SCALLIONS thin crosswise (white and green). Mix both with Chard.
  5. IF using dried Udon noodles, cook in boiling salted water same as any other noodles. They should be cooked softer than Italian pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Run   -   (10 min)
  1. Bring Water to a boil and turn off heat. Stir in Dashi and Salt, then Mushrooms and Vegetable mix. Bring back up to just short of a simmer for as long as it takes for the Cabbage stems to be crisp tender, then stir in Wakame and turn off heat.
  2. Meanwhile: Bring water for the Udon to a boil.
  3. Drop Udon into boiling water long enough to heat through. Use tongs to distribute into serving bowls.
  4. Use tongs to distribute vegetables into the serving bowls, then a ladle to distribute the broth.
  5. Serve hot.
  1. Wakame:   This is a very commonly available seaweed, dried in plastic bags or salted in plastic bags found in the refrigerated section of Asian markets. I prefer the salted as it tastes fresher and is more crunchy. Weight is for salted with the salt shaken off - for dried use a little less and soak it until soft.
  2. Chard:   Weight is with the stems cut away. In Japan this might be Umaina or another beet green. Swiss Chard is an easily available beet green, a bit coarser in texture but just fine in this soup. The pattern recipe calls for "spinach", but that ] would have a mushy texture in soup, and is not a beet green.
  3. Hon Dashi   (hon means "true"). This instant soup base is made from kelp and shaved dried bonito fish and is easily available in any market serving a Japanese or Korean community. Alternatively you can make your own dashi in various ways, including vegetarian (usually made from mushroom soaking liquid and kelp). A little Shiro Miso would not hurt this soup either.
  4. Udon:   These are thick Japanese flour noodles. Weight is for packaged cooked noodles (found in the refrigerated cases of Asian markets). If you have only dried, you will need to boil them in salted water like any other noodles until they are soft (they should be cooked softer than Italian pasta).
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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