Despite our borderless enthusiasm for the cuisines of the world, when it comes to home cooking, my wife and I tend to fall back on the usual quasi-Mediterranean, vaguely Italian-Franco-Spanish repertoire. To shake things up for us and our kids, we’ve decided to make a concerted effort to cook more Asian food at home: Thai, Indian, Japanese, whatever. We’ve done the occasional Korean BBQ on the backyard grill, the pseudo Chinese stir fry, the lame-o sushi, but simply haven’t tried hard enough. We are tiring (could it be?) of starting everything with olive oil and garlic. Well, maybe not tiring, but perhaps relying upon it a bit too much.
So in our newfound pledge to cook at least one, non-Mediterraneanish dish a week, my wife was the first mover, throwing together a Japanesque udon soup for the kids that they absolutely loved, and even tackled with their little training chopsticks. There are any number of other more healthy, full-balanced-meal variations that can be spun off of this, but their embrace of the new flavors has emboldened us in our forthcoming Pan-Asian explorations.
Miso Soup With Udon and...
The "and..." is a call to creativity and infinite riffs. Think of this as a base recipe, into which greens, cooked chicken, beef, or tofu could be added. If the noodles are too tough for the kids to manage with training chopsticks or a fork, cut the noodles up with kitchen shears in the bowl and let them eat it with a big spoon, or fork, or whatever works.
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or water
4 tablespoons white miso paste
thinly sliced scallions
3 clovves garlic
udon noodles (prepared according to package)
Heat broth to a simmer then stir in miso paste until dissolved. Add cooked noodles and scallions.