Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Nice Noodle Broth

Now that I have a noodle recipe that's pretty fast and easy to throw together, I wanted to have a good standby vegetarian broth in the event I don't have any leftover meaty soup-ish ingredients on hand.  The key to this broth is star anise (to lend depth) and miso (for umami).  All of these ingredients I happen to have in the pantry already, but they may be acquired in any Asian supermarket.  The first time I made it I kind of threw things into the pot but the second time I tried to keep an eye to measurements for reproducibility.  Here is what I have roughly, I believe the proportions can be easily adapted to taste:

Vegetarian 'Meaty' Broth for Noodle Soup

2 tsp vegetable oil
2-3 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tbs dry fried shallots (find in Asian supermarket)
3 cups of water
1.5 tbs miso
2 star anise
1.5 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp shaoxing wine (optional)

topping ideas:
scallions, chopped
leafy greens
bean sprouts
poached egg
lime wedge
cilantro, chopped
chili garlic sauce

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the ginger and shallots until fragrant.  Add water, miso, star anise, soy sauce and shaoxing wine and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly (can add a pinch of sugar or salt or more soy sauce if desired).  I like to quickly wilt the greens in the broth before combining with the noodles and scattering scallions over.  I bet a squeeze of lime would be nice too.

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