This vegan miso noodle recipe is creamy, nutty, packed full of flavour, and it will have you slurping the bowl clean.
The great thing about a bowl of noodles is that it's versatile and easily customisable. You can use udon noodles, ramen, or whatever you fancy, and once you get the broth base done, in this case Kombu Dashi, you can add just about any topping you like.
Dashi is a Japanese soup stock used in many dishes. This Kombu (kelp) Dashi gives the miso soup a moreish umami flavour. It's super easy to make, requiring only 3 ingredients, and can be made ahead of time and put in the fridge. It's also delicious to have on its own, so make extra and save it for later.
Once you have made the broth then it's just a matter of adding all the other ingredients and toppings. I added soy milk, miso paste and some tahini to give the broth a creamy nuttiness, and also a little doubanjiang—fermented chilli bean paste —for a spicy kick. Save the mushrooms from the Dashi to add on top, and fry up some tofu.
Kombu (Dried Kelp) Dashi
30g Kombu dried kelp
10 dried shiitake mushrooms
4-5 cups of water
2 servings of noodles of choice (ramen, udon, rice noodles)
6 stalks green onions, chopped white and green part separated
1½ tablespoons grated ginger
4 cloves if garlic, minced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon doubanjiang/chilli sauce
1 tbsp tahini
4½ cups Kombu Dashi
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup of unsweetened soy milk, or plant based milk of choice
a drizzle of toasted sesame oil
oil for cooking
200g firm tofu, cut into cubes
mushrooms from Kombu Dashi, sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt to taste
Japanese 7 spice blend Shichimi Togarashi
Toasted sesame seeds
Green parts of green onions
This can be made ahead of time
Clean the kombu kelp with a damp cloth to remove any sand or sediment (kelp is dried on the beach).
Fill a pot with 4-5 cups of water, then add the kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms and turn on the heat.
Right before it comes to a boil (when you see any bubbles appear), turn off the heat. You don't want the Kombu overheating or it loses its delicate flavour and turns slimy.
Remove the kelp and mushrooms and transfer the stock to a bowl for later use, or save it in a jar and refrigerate for future use.
Save the mushrooms for topping, and slice.
Cook noodles according to instructions on packet.
Drain, rinse under cold water, drain again. Divide into two bowls.
Pound or grind toasted sesame seeds, using a mortar and pestle (or the back of a large spoon).
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot, and fry the white part of the green onions for about 30 seconds or so. Then, sauté ginger and garlic. Add the doubanjiang, miso paste and tahini, and mix well. Slowly pour in the kombu stock and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Then add the soy milk, ground sesame seeds (with extra saved for topping), and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. If you want a smoother soup, sieve the broth. Pour the broth over the noodles.
Cut tofu into cubes.
Heat ½ tbsp of cooking oil in a large frying pan over high. Add tofu and fry for a minute on each side until golden and crisp. Add soy sauce to the tofu and mix gently. Then transfer to the noodle bowl
Sauté the mushrooms from the Dashi in the same pan with a little soy sauce. Add mushrooms to noodles.
Add sesame seeds, sesame oil, spring onions or chilli to garnish.