Lovely Noodly Lunch

In an effort to recreate the great “Saien Soba” noodles I had at Wagamama’s recently, I threw this together after getting back from the supermarket this afternoon.  My ‘naughty’ tip for max flavour is to get some cheapo instant noodles (unless you are watching your salt intake!).  They are usually vegan anyway.  Here are my ingredients – the only thing I used that isn’t in the picture is some veggie stock.

Ingredients list:
Some oil, for stir frying (ie, NOT Olive oil!)
1/2 small packet stir fry veg
1/2 packet shiitake mushrooms
1 spring onion, sliced
1/3rd packet of asparagus tips
1 packet (portion) of instant chicken noodles (vegan)1 mug of vegetable stock
Tamari soy
Sesame Oil

Here is how it worked…
1. Prepare the noodles as per the pack instructions.
2. Meanwhile, slice the shiitake mushrooms and any of the stir fry elements that need to be a little smaller (to allow even cooking), and slice the spring onions.Image
3. Heat a frying pan (or wok) until very hot, add oil, then the shiitake mushrooms and whichever veg will take longest to cook (in this case, broccoli).
4. Fry, but don’t stir too frequently (the ‘real secret of stir fry’) so the veggies catch and caramelise slightly on the edges.  You want the shiitake mushrooms to brown, to bring out the depth of flavour.
5. When the noodles are cooked, tip them and their liquid into a large bowl.
6. Make up a mug full of veggie stock (I used Marigold vegan bouillon powder), and pour it over the noodles.
7. Tip the cooked stir fried veggies on top of the noodles, and drizzle with a little soy (I used tamari soy) and sesame oil.


And a little bonus recipe suggestion… (my supper as I write this).
There’s nothing like some fresh strawberries on bread with marge – but make it a little richer by adding some Tofutti cream cheese spread and sprinkle with sugar.  Instant cheesecake!Image


Tofu & stir fried veg with miso noodles

Tofu and miso with stir fried veggies

Realising that plain silken tofu and noodles in a miso (my original intention) would have been rather bland and unsatisfying to a fussy palate, I used whatever I could find in the fridge to jazz this up a bit!

Here are the ingredients – quantities are not measured, as they really are up to you and how much you want – there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

1 block silken tofu (firm), cut into bite size chunks
miso paste (I used a mixture of red and white, but if you only choose one, use red, like barley or brown rice miso)
veg stock
crushed garlic
red chillis chopped
pak choi/bok choi or any suitable soft greens like spinach or chard (this is what I used)
baby corn (finely sliced)
mushrooms (finely sliced)
yellow pepper (finely sliced)
spring onions (finely sliced)
fresh coriander

'bird's eye view' (but don't worry, the bird isn't likely to eat this!)

1. Cook noodles, drain and refresh with cold water to stop cooking – divide between bowls to be served in.
2. Stir fry your garlic, some of the chilli, peppers, baby corn, mushrooms, and some spring onions. When cooked, spoon ontop of noodles in their bowls.
3.  Meanwhile cook your pak choi (or other greens) by boiling for a couple of mins in the veg stock.
4. When wilted, take off the boil and stir in your miso paste (you mustn’t boil miso, as it destroys the goodness).  Taste the broth and add more miso until you like the flavour.
5. Scatter the tofu cubes onto the noodles and pour over the broth.
6. Garnish with your spring onions, chilli and coriander (you can add this to the broth at the end if you prefer).

Eat with a bib, as this is a messy, slurpy dish!  I’m told it’s considered polite in Japan to make slurpy noises when eating your noodles, as it’s a sign you’re enjoying the dish!  Not sure the Japanese would approve of my hybrid version, but we did!  With a nice kick from the chilli, fresh greenness from the coriander, wholesome goodness from the tofu and warmth from the miso – the stir fried veg just added that extra big of flavour and excitement: and we felt holier-than-thou eating it! nom nom…. slurp.