Spiced Fennel, Shiitake & Miso Noodle Soup

11th April 2016

This Spiced Fennel, Shiitake & Miso Noodle Soup has become a fond favorite of ours in recent months. The quick and easy stock combines versatile Asian ingredients that we always keep on hand. Dry toasted Sichuan peppercorns and star anise form an aromatic base when combined with fresh ginger. The spiced backbone of this stock is balanced by the salty, umami flavors of the red or brown miso, the earthiness of the shiitake and faintly sweet notes from the fennel. Serve the spiced miso soup with or without noodles, extra-firm silken tofu and fresh greens for a soothing and savory meal or snack.

Spiced Fennel, Shiitake and Miso Noodle Soup

When serving, finish with the best seasonal greens available. We especially love mizuna, a type of Japanese mustard green with a peppery flavor and slightly sweet and bitter notes. While milder than arugula and frisée, these two commonly available greens can be convenient substitutes. The slightly more obscure chrysanthemum greens are also a nice bitter green alternative to mizuna. If you prefer something milder than these peppery and bitter greens, use your favorite fresh greens. Adding greens at the end provides a light, fresh element to this dish.

Mizuna Japanese Greens

Garnish each bowl with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds and a dash of Taiwanese vegetarian black vinegar. Black vinegar is a rich, fragrant, slightly fruity and tart condiment frequently used in Taiwan. It provides an added depth and an acid component that we often enjoy with our dishes. We highly recommend keeping black vinegar on hand if you’re interested in preparing Taiwanese food since it’s a common ingredient in the cuisine with a broad range of uses.

Asian Spices, Star Anise, Sichuan Peppercorns, Shiitake, Silken Tofu and Fennel

Our spiced miso stock is a practical and robust base that can be enjoyed with any combination of vegetables, noodles and protein. While we enjoy serving it with fennel, shiitake and silken tofu; you can just as easily serve this spiced miso base with any seasonal produce or vegan protein of choice.

Spiced Asian Miso Stock

Vegan Spiced Fennel, Shiitake and Miso Noodle Soup

Spiced Fennel, Shiitake & Miso Noodle Soup

Makes 2 big servings (or 3 small servings)

Our spiced miso stock is a practical and robust base that can be enjoyed with any combination of vegetables, noodles and protein. While we enjoy serving it with fennel, shiitake and silken tofu; you can just as easily serve this spiced miso base with any seasonal produce or vegan protein of choice.

Ingredients

  • 112g (4 oz) dry flour noodles or 170g (6oz) fresh noodles

For the stock

  • 6 cups water
  • Pinch of salt (⅛ tsp)
  • 60g fresh ginger, thinly sliced with skin on
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (2g) whole sichuan peppercorns
  • 5-6 pods (4g) star anise
  • 150g (heaping ½ cup) red or brown miso (Westbrae Organic)

For the rest

  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil (i.e., canola, grape seed)
  • 225-255g (8-9oz) fennel, thinly sliced*
  • 170g (6oz) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced*
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, preferably Kadoya
  • 115g (4oz) extra firm silken tofu, cubed (½-inch), preferably Mori-Nu
  • 50g mustard greens (preferably mizuna, Japanese greens), roughly chopped

Garnishes

Method

Make the stock

In a large stockpot over medium heat, dry toast the Sichuan peppercorns and star anise for 2-3 minutes, stirring until aromatic. Add sliced ginger, a pinch of salt and 6 cups of water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a gentle boil (this should take about 5 minutes). Once at a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large Pyrex measuring cup or container (about 8-cups). Pour the stock through the sieve to strain. Using a smaller measuring cup, add the miso and approximately one cup of hot stock. Whisk the miso until fully dissolved and return the miso-stock to the large measuring cup with the rest of the stock. Whisk to combine.

Make the rest

Give the stockpot a quick rinse to remove any residue from the stock spices. Using the stockpot, heat 2 teaspoons oil and add the fennel. Cook on low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, add toasted sesame oil and stir frequently for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the stock and simmer on low for 8-10 minutes. Do not boil the stock.

While the stock is simmering, cook the noodles according to their individual instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. In a medium bowl, toss the noodles with a bit of toasted sesame oil and gently mix. Set the noodles aside.

After simmering for 8-10 minutes, add tofu to the stockpot. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes to warm the tofu. To serve, divide the noodles into 2-3 bowls and cover with the prepared stock. Finish with fresh mizuna (or other greens). Garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds and black vinegar to taste.

Notes

*Fennel & shiitake mushrooms: For the fennel, yields 140-170g (5-6oz) after removing the bottom and fronds. For the shiitake mushrooms, yields approximately 125g (2 heaping cups) after removing stems.

Advance preparation: The spiced miso stock can be prepared up to one day in advance, stored in the refrigerator.

Mizuna substitutions: We highly recommend and prefer mizuna. You can substitute arugula, young mustard greens, frisée or chrysanthemum greens in equal amounts. If you prefer something milder than these peppery and bitter greens, use your favorite fresh greens.

We used a 4-quart Staub Cast Iron Essential Oven for the stock.

Vegan Spiced Fennel, Shiitake and Miso Noodle Soup

Spiced Fennel Shiitake Tofu and Miso Noodle Soup

You Might Also Like