October 30, 2012

EAT: udon with uni, shrimp & shiitake mushrooms






There's something about hot noodle soup on a cold day. There's something about throwing in uni into an unexpected dish. This is only delicious if you know and like uni though. If you don't know, uni is the slimy, orange inside of an sea urchin.  It's sort of an acquired taste and only tastes great if its fresh.   If you can't stand it, you can totally leave this part out because its just a topping anyways.  

This is more of a trial and error kind of dish instead of a recipe anyways.  You can add ingredients more or less to your liking.  I had jumbo shrimp in my freezer and some udon noodles and wanted to make something with it so I looked around online for some recipes with those two combinations and found some random recipes that had these two just thrown into some boiling chicken broth and white miso paste.  Simple! I thought, I will find some of my favorite vegetables to toss in there and some other seafood ingredient. 

On the way home from a long and dreary day at work, I stopped by my local  super market and darted straight for the shiitake mushrooms because I feel like they always give good texture to a dish.  And then on the way to the register, in the corner of my eye,  there lay one lone box left in the sushi grade aisle, a box of fresh uni! I didn't know exactly at the time how I would use it in the udon, but then it was simple.  I could use it as a topping!  It really made the dish, it added the right amount of saltiness that was needed in the light taste of the broth! Below is my version of a seafood udon soup with shiitake mushrooms.  Try your own and let us know how yours turned out!




Ingredients:  (about 2 servings)    
  • 5 cups vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 pk. dried udon noodles, or pack of frozen udon
  • 1 box of fresh uni
  • 1/2 lb. fresh jumbo shrimp 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1 pack of shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs. Mellow White  Miso, (add more for taste) 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions 
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes  or togarashi chili pepper (optional) 
  • seaweed (optional)
  • 2 eggs (optional)




Directions:  
Bring chicken broth to a boil on medium heat.  Meanwhile, clean jumbo shrimp and cut off tail and put aside. Clean shiitake mushrooms and trim stems or slice to your liking (optional to keep whole as well) and put aside. Chop the green onions and put aside. Then,  in a bowl, combine water, the miso paste and grated ginger and put aside.  Poach the egg or boil a soft boil egg and put aside to add in the end.  After the broth comes to a boil, place the udon in the broth and cook for about 10 min. Then, add the miso paste mixture.  Taste the broth and add more miso paste for taste.  Add  in the shrimp and cook until pink. Then throw in the mushrooms last.  After a few minutes of boiling and you feel like the shrimp is cooked but not over cooked, serve the soup in the bowls immediately.  Add the poached or soft boiled eggs.  Add a sheet of seaweed on the side, garnish with the green onions and sprinkle with the togarashi chili or the red pepper flakes.  Now for the cherry on top, scoop out the uni, just a couple pieces at first and place on top! Now slurp away and add more or less uni to your tasting.

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