Tuesday 19 October 2010

Noodles in Broth

We had a lovely warm spring day today. It is a surprise to see the sun after so much rain. It brings back memories of normal Melbourne spring rain before we became accustomed to drought. It seems times are a changing. Australia has its first saint (Mary McKillop) and Sherlock Holmes has been brought into the 21st Century on our television. And me? I am leaving behind the stews of winter and embracing asparagus and lighter soups.

I am rather fond of Asian-style noodle soups full of vegetables and flavour. However I am no expert. Many recipes call for separately cooking the broth, the vegetables and the noodles. I like to throw everything in together, though the wisdom of doing so might be questionable.

I haven’t had much success with rice noodles so I moved onto soba noodles which I find almost as challenging. I put them in a soup that reminded me a bit of this autumnal soup but adding cooked rice was easier than soba noodles. I had the leftovers the next day for lunch and enjoyed it but was surprised that the broth was all but absorbed.

E enjoyed the leftovers for dinner less than me. I was pleased because I finally returned to making rice paper rolls, three years after I first tried it (thanks to Lisa for inspiration). I had forgot it was so easy. E was not impressed. Unfortunately for him, I loved it and hope it will be the summer of the rice paper roll. If you happen to find yourself with some leftover noodle soup and wondering how to serve it, I would highly recommend serving a small bowl with a plate of rice paper rolls.

I am sending this soup to Jacqueline (and Lisa) for the No Croutons Required blog event because this month’s theme is noodles.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Mr Natural Gourmet Vegetarian Pizza
This time two years ago: Fried Rice

Asparagus, Corn and Tofu Soup with Soba Noodles

inspired by this soup by Herbivoracious
Serves 3-4

  • handful dried shiitake mushrooms (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tsp dashi powder
  • 1 piece of dried kombu seaweed (about 6-8 inches long)
  • 1 tsp of ginger juice (squeezed from finely grated pulp of about 1 inch of fresh ginger)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 200g firm tofu, cubed
  • 6 cups of water (or more)
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 500g dry soba noodles
  • kernels of 2 cobs corn
  • 8 stalks of thick asparagus, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • few drops of toasted sesame oil
Place mushrooms, kombu, dashi powder, ginger juice, tofu and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add carrots and simmer another 5 minutes. Add noodles and simmer 1 minute. Add corn, asparagus, and spring onions. Simmer 3-4 minutes. Stir in tamari, mirin and sesame oil. Serves hot.

On the Stereo:
Thursday’s Fortune: Club Hoy


  1. Oh you tease me with your talk of spring!

    I am on the sofa, full of cold wrapped in a blanket feeling very sorry for myself.

    Once I have had a few squashes and roasts I'll be embracing winter I hope.

  2. I like chinese soups too. They have all these veggies in them and they taste so different from ours. Your soup looks exactly like that.

  3. Your soup looks good - but the rice paper rolls really caught my eye. I love those! I am warming to Asian style soups after last week's FFwD, which was a delicious Asian style soup.

  4. yum! your soup looks delicious! I made cold rolls this week too, it seems it is the week for it :D

  5. Oooh, I love love love soba noodles! And I'm fairly certain I have half a packet in the back of my pantry. I'm always annoyed that most soba noodles here in Australia have normal wheat in them, which is frustrating when I want to cook for my wheat-intolerant mother!

  6. That looks delicious Johanna! Soba noodles are so good. I like them in Summer just cold with some dipping sauce :)

  7. Looks great and reminds me I really should blog about some of the noodles that we maake, especially given the name of our blog :-)

  8. Thanks Helen - sorry to hear you aren't enjoying the cooler days - I love change of season whether hot to cold or cold to hot - but am sure some roasted squash will cheer you up

    Thanks Katerina - south east asian soups are much different to the ones I grew up with - but so good in warmer weather

    Thanks Cakelaw - I am sure rice paper rolls would have gone well with your soup

    Thanks Vegiebug - finally some rice paper rolls weather :-)

    Thanks Hannah - the soba noodles I used were from the supermarket and had wheat in them - I was trying to remember where I last bought 100% buckwheat ones because I prefer them without wheat but luckily I can stomach wheat

    Thanks Lorraine - I should try that but still feel unsure about cooking soba noodles

    Thanks K - would love to see you blog about noodles more - I suspect you take them for granted more that I do

  9. Nice line-up of ingredients Johanna. Mmmmmmm :p

  10. Hey Johanna,

    Why don't you try cooking the soba noodle sperately then rinse with cold/ice water so it doesn't stick, drain it then add whatever amt you want into the soup. So you can add the leftover noodle into the soup the next day and it wont get too soggy. Thats how I always prepare my cold soba noodle with Japanese dipping sauce. xx

  11. Its so funny your writing about spring, when we are dipping into winter in Scotland.

    Still can't get my head around eating noodles. I was never a fan of tinned spaghetti either.

  12. Sounds delicious! I don't find soba noodles hard to cook, but I can see the challenge with rice noodles. For a moment there at the end of the post, I thought you were going to roll the leftover soup noodles in the rice paper rollers! ;) Thanks for reminding me how easy and delicious rice paper rolls are, too.

  13. Ooo yum both the noodles and the rice rolls look so good!! I love noodles in soup but don't like when they get all mushy. And I really want to try making rice paper rolls! For some reason I'm intimidated by them.


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