perhaps you are thinking, "that picture sure doesn't look soupy to me!" and that is correct. kris got me a new camera for my birthday (eeeee!) and in a moment of confusion the picture of the actual soupy dish got deleted. so the picture is leftovers all packed up for lunch...minus the broth. so just pretend that it's all soupy and noodley looking, ok? now that that's cleared up on we go!
we have a ton of miso in the fridge and for some reason we have been using it for everything but miso soup. it was time to soup it up! in order to make this into a full meal we went beyond the basic miso soup with the addition of soba noodles, vegetables and lots of tofu. there are a lot of little steps involved but it really didn't take too long to put the whole thing together.
soba miso soup bowl
1 bunch soba noodles (ours came in a package separated into three bunches)
miso (i used mellow white miso paste)
3 scallions, chopped
handful shitake mushrooms (i had about 10 maybe that's two handfuls), sliced
1 sheet nori, toasted then crumbled*
1 block tofu, pressed, dried and sliced into 1/2 inch slabs
1/2 bag baby spinach
2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
red chili flakes
first get your tofu marinating. in a shallow baking dish combine soy sauce with a splash of sesame oil to cover the bottom. add a pinch of chili flakes and about half of your ginger. place tofu in a single layer and flip so that all sides are covered. let sit for as long as you can (i just did everything else and then cooked the tofu last).
next, start a pot of water boiling for the soba noodles. they don't take long to cook (ours said 3 minutes) but this way you can add them to the water whenever everything else is almost done.
heat a splash of peanut oil over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. cook until they begin to brown (about 5-7 minutes). when they're done, remove from the pan and set aside.
after setting mushrooms aside, add a splash more peanut oil to the same pan along with the garlic and the rest of your ginger. cook a minute until fragrant and add your spinach and cook until just wilted. remove from pan and set aside.
to the same pan** add the tofu. cook several minutes until it's nice and brown. flip and pour the extra marinade over the tofu as it cooks the second side. once it's cooked, remove from the pan and cut into cubes.
to make the miso broth, add 1 tablespoon of miso for each cup of water. i did 3 cups of water and that would probably be good for 4 heaping servings.
to assemble, place noodles in a bowl. top with mushrooms, tofu, spinach, scallions and crumbled nori. ladle hot miso broth on top.
*to toast nori you can cook it in a dry pan over high heat for a few seconds on each side OR if you want to have a bit more fun with it (and you have a gas stove) turn on your flame and hold the nori over it, using tongs(!), for a few seconds. it will start to warp and curl and will be nice and crispy.
**ok, you could also speed this along by using multiple pans and cooking things at the same time but that's more dishes. it's your call.