I was about nine or ten when a family friend of ours told me that the hardest thing to pick up with a pair of chopsticks was a peanut. Before this, I used to struggle with picking up near everything with chopsticks, including cooked greens, chicken, and basically anything that wasn’t sticky white rice. But I really wanted to. One day, I got it. I got the peanut. My parents were so proud in their parental way, and I told our friend afterwards that I had done it. From that point on, it didn’t matter to me, really, if people would ever care that I had picked up the peanut, have cared, or will ever care, because I cared. I now know I can pick up anything with a pair of chopsticks, because I was able to pick up that Panda Panda (now a Panda Express; I can’t remember if they changed by that time or not) peanut nearly 10 years ago. And in that, I think I understand that this is how we as chefs and bakers work – we set our own goals. When we get there, we are culinarily freed. We can do more because we believe in ourselves more.
Udon noodle soup. My husband and I recently have been trying Blue Apron, that food service that delivers you the ingredients for 3 meals each week and then tells you how to make them, step-by-step. For the most part, it is awesome. I want to make almost everything they send me. And it’s cool to know that some food that seems impossible to make, actually is very easy and doesn’t take that much time. This recipe is one of theirs.
So here it goes. Udon noodle soup with miso and soft-boiled eggs.
Source: Blue Apron, Udon Noodle Soup with Miso & Soft-Boiled Eggs
Recipe by: ^, with my alterations in measurements, if mentioned, given below, as well as in directions.
My friends say: (My husband really doesn’t like soup and had two bowls)
I find this goes with: doesn’t need to go with anything, it is great by itself!
Serving size: 2-3 bowls
Can be: dinner, lunch
fresh udon noodles
baby boy choy
sweet white miso paste
- Boil a small pot of water and place the eggs in. (Cook as many eggs for as many bowls you are serving. This recipe is originally for 2 people as a main dish, so it asks for 2 eggs. But it’s possible if being paired with another main dish, this could be enough for more bowls, and will thus require more eggs.) Cook for exactly 7 minutes. Retrieve eggs with spoons (one for each) and hold them beneath cold water for about 30 seconds or so. Set aside to peel later.
- Take ginger and carefully cut off the outside of it. Chop it up as finely as possible.
- Chop off just the roots of scallions (but not all of white ends).
- Spray a pan with canola oil cooking spray and cook the garlic, ginger, and after finely chopping the white part of the scallions, add them as well. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them as they cook, stirring about a minute. Feel free to add more canola oil spray if needed.
- Add carrot rounds to the pan, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add 5 cups of water to a big pot, and heat on high till boiling. Add miso paste and hoisin sauce to water as well. The miso paste will break down as the water heats up. Stir occasionally, making sure it’s thoroughly dissolved with no “miso-chunks” in the water.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and stir here and there until miso seems to have dissolved, as mentioned above.
- Add bok choy after carefully chopping off the roots, and roughly chopping the rest of the leaves. Big chunks are okay.
- Then add the noodles to the pot, after separating them as much as possible with your hands, without breaking them. Add the sesame oil, and just a little lime juice. The recipe calls for a whole lime, but I would suggest just starting with 1/4 of a lime, and tasting the broth for desired lime flavor. I felt even a half of a lime was too much.
- Heat through for a few minutes more, and then turn off heat. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste.
- Peel the eggs. I found I started to cut the eggs in half, but left them still attached on one side (see picture).
- Carefully ladle soup into bowls. Place one egg in center of each bowl, and sprinkle peanuts on top. Add some more scallions (the green tops) to taste if you would like to. I found I didn’t really have to add much of this as a garnish.
- Serve hot, and with chopsticks! …if you can pick up the peanuts.