We don’t often make bowls of noodles, but really, I don’t know why. This broth (or dipping sauce) is delicious. Topped with fresh greens, mushrooms, spring onions, the noodles are far too good to ignore. Although we used Japanese noodles for today’s dish, we used Chinese Spinach as our greens, along with cute little pieces of yuba (dried beancurd) tied in knots. I know that you will enjoy this dish.
Use this broth or dipping sauce for any noodle dish or tofu dish, or for anything else that you would like to use a broth or dipping sauce with. Kept fairly thick, it makes a great dressing too, for Asian style salads.
Japanese Noodles are served cold in summer and hot otherwise, in a broth or with a dipping sauce. The broth or dipping sauce can be made up to a week before use. We make our own vegetarian dashi (stock) for the sauce with handful of dried mushrooms, some dried seaweed and light miso paste. Click the link for the recipe or see below.
This recipe is from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. It is a recipe we still use often, when we feel in a noodle mood.
Any greens go well with this dish and noodles, and Chinese Spinach is particularly good.
Broth and Dipping Sauce for Japanese Noodles and Tofu
0.5 cup light soy sauce – Tamari is preferred, but Shoyu or a Chinese Light Soy will work
0.5 cup mirin
2 Tblspn light brown sugar
for the broth or dipping sauce
vegetarian dashi (stock) – see below
For the basic flavouring, put the soy sauce and mirin in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When the mixture begins to foam, add the sugar and lower the heat, stirring continuously. Bring the mixture just to the boil, then take it off the heat and set it aside, uncovered, to cool. It is a beautiful, thick and sticky liquid, slightly sweet and salty.
Once it has cooled, put it in a jar and store, covered, in the fridge for at least 12 hours (if you can). Use within 7 days.
For making broth, Kake-jiru: dilute the basic flavouring with 5 parts stock.
For making a dipping sauce, Tsuke-Jiru: dilute the basic flavouring with 3 parts stock.
Noodles in broth can be eaten cold in Summer and warm in other seasons.
To Make Vegetarian Dashi (Stock)
2 postcard-sized pieces of kombu – seaweed available from Asian grocery shops
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 l water
1 heaped tspn light miso paste
Soak the kombu and mushrooms in the water for at least 1 hour, then heat slowly in a saucepan over a low-moderate heat. Bring the water to almost a simmer, and then when the kombu begins to float, remove it.
Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Allow the liquid to cool a little, and stir in the miso. When it is cooler, remove the mushrooms (you can retain and use in another dish), and strain the stock.
It will store in the fridge for several days, or the stock can be frozen.