With Joe Biden and Paul Ryan to keep me company in the kitchen, and the first blustery weather LA has seen in months, it felt like a good time to make some noodle soup. I hardly ever attempt Japanese food but Stefan of Stefan’s Gourmet Blog inspired me and I really love noodle soups. And they are just as simple to make as any other soup.
The recipe I used and tweaked lived in my “to try” file, an assortment of loose pieces of paper, for quite some time and, for the life of me, I cannot remember where it came from. My apologies to the chef/author. If you recognize it, please enlighten me and I will credit you properly.
The prep time is about 30 to 40 minutes which meant being able to sit down and watch the second half of the vice-presidential debate in front of a steaming bowl of soup. Slurping on the noodles was as much fun as watching Mr. Biden thumping Mr. Ryan.
3 C Bonito flakes (they are flakes of dried and smoked mackerel and typically used to make broths or flavour dishes. Can be purchased at most health food and Asian stores)
3/4 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C Mirin
2 T Sugar
1 Sheet of Nori (or other crunchy seaweed)
1 # Soba Noodles (450 g)
1/2 C Scallions, chopped
- Toast the seaweed for a few minutes in a 300F (150C) oven. Set aside.
- Bring 10 cups of water to a boil; stir in the bonito flakes and let steep, off the heat, for 10 minutes. Strain the broth in a bowl and discard the flakes.
- Put the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and a pinch of salt into the now empty pot and bring to a boil. Let it boil for a minute and then add the bonito stock; let boil again and turn off the heat but keep warm.
- In the meantime, cook the soba noodles in plenty of boiling water, according to package directions. Most noodles will cook between 3 and 6 minutes. Drain when tender, quickly rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly. Divide the noodles between 4 or 6 bowls (4 will yield a full meal size).
- Crack the eggs into a small bowl or large measuring cup with a spout and beat until frothy. Using circular motions, slowly stream the eggs, 1/3 at a time, into the hot broth. Wait until the first pour has set before pouring again or you will have a giant frittata in your soup.
- Ladle the soup over the noodles, catching the eggs with a slotted spoon. Cut large pieces of the toasted nori and sprinkle them, with the chopped scallions, over the bowls. Serve immediately with pretty chopsticks.