Although I meal planned at the start of the week, I always seem to find myself off course. It’s really hard for me to stick to my plan. So many factors that effect what I eat and whether I follow my plan: energy level, mood, illness, cravings, dinner invites, seeing other people eating something tasty, and food blogs. Oh food blogs, source of inspiration, distraction and cravings.
Today, my energy level was running low and I wanted to take a nap as soon as I got home. Luckily, before I left the house this morning, I already knew I wanted to make a meal and checked what ingredients I had in the fridge to use up: onions, sweet potatoes, cabbage and a beet. I also had spinach and edamame in the freezer.
The easiest thing to do would’ve been to just throw this all into a soup but I didn’t really want another borscht like soup since I had that for about 3-4 meals this week already. I saw my co-worker having brown rice vermicelli and then it hit me. Soba noodles!! I had a pack in my pantry along with dashi stock and miso paste in the fridge. I bought the rest of the ingredients on my way home from work.
This soup came together with all the prep work in about an hour. I wanted to eat asap, so I sliced the carrots and daikon radish thin.
Soba Noodle Soup with Cabbage, Daikon, and Carrots
- half green cabbage – sliced into thin strips
- 1 yellow onion – peeled, cut in half and sliced up thinly
- 1 thin slice of ginger diced up (skinned)
- 1 cup of frozen shelled edamame beans.
- 2 bundles of buckwheat noodles (my pack was split up so every bundle = 2 servings)
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced into thin coins
- 1 daikon radish, peeled and diced into thin coins
- 3 tbl of olive oil
- 8-12 cups of water for soup stock (estimate) – I tried to fill up my pot about half way
- 8 cups of water for soba noodles (the measurements on the soba noodle package were Japanese, so I just filled the pot 3/4 way).
- 2 packs of dashi stock (6grams in each).
- 2 tbl of yellow miso paste (or more, to taste)
- 2 tbl of soy sauce (or more, to taste)
- Turn burner to medium heat, fry onions until they begin to soften and add ginger.
- Pour in water and bring to a boil. At the same time, bring another pot of water to boil (for the noodles).
- When the soup pot comes to a boil, put in the dashi stock, and miso paste. Stir well until combined. Then add in carrots, daikon and cabbage.
- When noodle pot comes to a boil, add in noodles. Stir occasionally. Bring to boil again and after 5 mins, take off heat, strain and rinse with cold water. Set noodles aside. (Please note: these were the instructions on my buckwheat noodle package – it was a combination of buckwheat and wheat flour, follow the instructions on yours as it differs).
- When the daikon and carrots have cooked, stir in soy sauce, mix the soup and taste. If it’s flavourful enough you are done! Otherwise, add soy sauce/miso if it needs more sodium, or more water if it’s too salty.
- Divy up noodles into serving bowls. Ladle soup on top and serve hot.
This is the first time I experimented with soba noodle soup. I got a recipe a few years back when I went to a Sanko (Japanese food & giftshop) where a worker was kind enough to assist me with picking up ingredients to make my first soba noodle soup and soba noodles with dipping sauce. When he found out it was my first time, he also wrote down the exact ratio to use to make soba noodle soup base as well as the dipping sauce for soba noodles. How nice is that?! So nice! I remember the ratio helped produce a really tasty soup with wakame, rice wine, dashi, and soy sauce and the dipping sauce was addictive. Unfortunately, that same winter, I lost the ratio, so I’m planning on going back one day to see if I can get that ratio again.
Anyways, yay to experimenting! It is always sort of nerve wracking to freestyle in the kitchen. I’ve always found that it’s usually hard to screw up soup though.
I would’ve added more ingredients (roasted seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, tofu, mushrooms) but I was too hungry to wait any longer.
Do you stick to your meal plan? Do you cook without recipes? What’s your favourite soba noodle dish?