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 Miso Steaks with noodles

Tofu Steaks with noodles

Tofu Steaks with noodles

Thanks to my lovely hubby Rich for being the hand model in this pic!

Taken and adapted a little from the Wagamama cook book, I was nervous about cooking with tofu and have been for a while.  So it seems rather ambitious to be going for big hunks of the stuff for one of my first attempts!

I bought some brown rice miso and some sweet white miso at the supermarket as well as some tofu (by Cauldron), then found the recipe that resulted in this meal.  It was surprisingly tasty but also checked the ‘sanctimonious’ checkbox on the vegan chart! ha ha. It was so pure and healthy that I imagine I  shall be excreting nothing but natural mineral water and ash.

Here’s how I made it. (I measured nothing properly, by the way).

Open pack of (firm) tofu, drain, pat dry with kitchen towel and slice lenthways to make two ‘steaks’.  Make your paste to go on top:

about 1tsp red miso (brown rice or barley miso paste)
about 1 tbsp white miso
dash of sake (dessert spoon)
1 tsp sesame oil
generous pinch of togarashi seasoning
(original called for Schichimi, but can’t find the stuff anywhere – you could also use thai 7 spice – all this things seem to have chilli, orange or lemon peel, some poppy/seseame seeds and other stuff in varying degrees!  I got the togarashi from Waitrose)

mix together those ingredients then slaver on top of each miso steak.  Heat a griddle pan, oil it and then cook the steaks miso side up only for 6-8 minutes, making sure the bottom doesn’t burn.

Other ingredients required:
2 portions of noodles
greens (spinach or chard)
spring onions to garnish
coriander to garnish (I didn’t have any of this)
more miso to make broth
toasted sesame oil

In the meantime, cook some noodles: whatever takes your fancy – recipe called for rice noodles, but I used ramen.  I would have preferred to use a wholewheat noodle like soba, but they had run out 😦
When noodles cooked, drain and divide into bowls.

Steam or boil some greens.  When done and drained, place on top of noodles.

Prepare a miso broth (ie, just stir in some paste into some boiled water: don’t boil the broth as it kills the ‘friendly bacteria’ that is so good for you in the miso).  Then poor the broth to just cover the noodles and greens.

Place your cooked steak on top, garnish with spring onions (you could add chilli) and sprinkle over a little sesame oil.