Wednesday, January 19, 2011

vegan udon

It may be due to the weather, but I've been craving udon lately. However, not since my visit to Japan a couple of years ago have I had a worthy udon soup. There it was duck and green onion udon with the typical dashi (broth), and I had it several times. With my selection of ingredients, I wouldn't even try to recreate it. But, I did try a vegan udon soup today that turned out brilliantly.

Sultan centre has some of the ingredients that are key to making this dish work, including the noodles and miso paste. I got dried shitake mushrooms, sold as dried black chinese mushrooms, in a shop in the city.

First the broth. I covered the dried mushrooms with boiling water. I wanted to extract as much of the flavour as possible. It resulted in a beautifully golden broth that had such a nice aroma. Strained through a fine sieve and kept it on the side. In one pan, i boiled the noodles for 6 or 7 minutes until they were still a little al dente. In another, i sauteed some garlic and ginger in some sesame oil. Then added the vegetables (eggplant, fresh mushrooms, the rehydrated mushrooms, sweet red pepper, then the broth, about a tablespoon of miso paste, soy sauce and let it cook until the vegetables were almost done. Then I added some tofu and cooked for a couple of minutes more. To serve, I put some noodles in a bowl, poured over some broth and vegetables, then what you see above is what I got.

It was really enjoyable and a soup I'm sure I'll make again and again. If I could find some kombu (kelp) to give some extra aroma to the stock, I think that would perfect this dish.


  1. restaurant quality ... ur sister (jaijy) said you were gonna open something soon ... will be one of the first in line ... seriously :-)

  2. Hi Randy, thanks for the support! Cooking is a skill I continuously try to improve. I have it in mind to open something up, not sure when exactly, but when I do, I will not compromise on quality no matter what. I end up cooking more because I'm not always happy with what I eat at restaurants.
    I stand against what I believe are commercially-driven restaurants - I'm not saying that they're all bad, or that restaurants shouldn't make money, but I see too many places that are packed, sometimes blasting offensively loud music, serving not so great food. Are people there to eat an excellent meal or simply see and be seen? As soon as I figure out what I'm doing, I will make it known here on my blog. Thanks again for reading and the comments.

  3. ud: in Kuwait it seems people usually are out at these restaurants for the atmoshpere / scenery .... there are some fairly good dishes out there but I still long for the quality back home ... I will admit I get a little excited when I find food in Kuwait that is even similar to what I'm used to so I don't blame locals for getting excited about the new restaurants blaring music / spouting foreign (to the masses) ingredients left & right.

    looking forward to seeing what you come up with as a chef / entrepreneur :)