Noodles and Broth – By Aveline Kushi
6-8 Cups Spring or filtered water
1 8oz package soba or udon noodles
1 Piece kombu, 2-3 inches long
4 Cups Spring or filtered water
2 Dried shiitake mushrooms
2-3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
Chopped scallions, chives or toasted nori for garnish
Bring the cooking water to a boil. Add the noodles and return to a boil. After about 10 minutes check to see if they are done by breaking the end of one noodle. Buckwheat cooks faster than than whole wheat and thinner noodles faster than than thicker. For buckwheat, you can use the shocking method. If the inside and outside are the same colour, the noodles are ready. If even a tiny bit of the inside is a different shade, the noodles need to cook longer. When done, remove the noodles from pot, drain, and rinse thoroughly with cold water to stop them from cooking and prevent clumping. the noodle cooking water can be saved for soup stock and for adding to flour to make bread.
To make the broth, put the kombu in a pot and add fresh water. Soak the shiitake mushrooms, cut off and discard their stem,s, and slice the mushrooms. Add them to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove the kombu and shiitake and save them for other dishes. Add tamari soy sauce to taste to the pot and cook for 3-5 minutes. Put the cooked noodles into the broth to warm them, but do not let them boil. When hot, remove the noodles and serve immediately with a little broth. Garnish with scallions, chives or toasted nori.
Variations: A little grated fresh ginger may be added to the broth. the kombu and shiitake may be left in the broth and served with the noodles if desired. Dried daikon, carrots and onions, or bonito fish flakes also make good additions. The noodles are also customarily enjoyed with cooked seitan, fu, tofu, natto or tempeh.
– I kept the shiitake and kombu in the broth and I added green onion, carrot, grated daikon and tempeh.