Monday, July 28, 2008

Japanese Mushroom Egg Noodle Soup

Japanese Comfort Soup!

I just have to share this recipe. It is my first real Japanese Soup I have ever attempted and my family loves the flavors so much that I keep making the soup on a regular basis. I would like to add that different noodles can be used. . .all according to taste and availability. Some noodles will need to be cooked in the mushroom broth whereas other noodles will just be placed in the bowl with the ingredients and hot broth poured over all. I have used Udon noodles in the past but this last pot of soup, I used regular ramen noodles. My daughter, Ashley, perfers ramen noodles over all others ~ so why not? I have to tell you that the soft boiled egg completely soaks up the flavor of the mushroom broth and feels as if the egg will melt in your mouth. Delicious and worth trying. Sometimes dried mushrooms can be a little spendy. . .but so worth the effort and a little expense! =D

Japanese Mushroom Egg Noodle Soup
10 cups water
2 ounces dried mixed mushrooms, such as porcini or shitake, about 2 cups
10 coin-sized pieces of fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound fresh mixed mushrooms, such shitake caps or cremini, sliced very thin
Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
/4 cup medium-dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
8 ounces cooked udon noodles (or somen, buckwheat/soba, or ramen noodles)
1 to 2 ounces enoki mushrooms, optional
4 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias
Gomashio or sansho pepper, for seasoning
In a large soup pot bring the water to a boil along with the dried mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Adjust the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep, 30 more minutes.
While the broth steeps: Melt the butter over high heat in a large nonstick skillet, add the sliced fresh mushrooms and cook until crisp and brown, about 10 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, to taste, and distribute them evenly between 4 soup bowls.
Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let cook until almost soft boiled, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately rinse the eggs with cold water and set aside.
Strain the broth. Reheat and season with the sherry, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Distribute noodles, enoki mushrooms, if using, and scallions evenly in each soup bowl. Crack a soft-boiled egg into each bowl (to maintain the eggs' shape, take care to peel them carefully, or use as small spoon to free them from the shell). Ladle 2 cups of hot broth into each bowl. Sprinkle gomashio or shansho pepper over the soup, if desired, and serve immediately.

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