Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sorta-Soba Bowls (Japanese Noodle Bowls)

Over at Simply Modern Mom, Tiffany has started an Over-used Recipe Swap in the hopes of getting 365 new dinner ideas. If you are in need of some new dinner ideas, check out her website - there are some yummy recipes just waiting to be used by someone new.
Here is one of my new favorites. It comes from Rachael Ray's cookbook, Just in Time.

Sorta-Soba Bowls (Japanese Noodles Bowls)

1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti (I use a smaller pasta, usually rotini or corkscrew noodles)
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced into half moons 1/2 inch thick (I just dice it)
16-20 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 head bok choy, cored and coarsely chopped
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken or vegetable stock (I use about half this because we don't like it so soupy)
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (this and the chili powder add a big kick of spice, so I generally only use a dash of one or the other)
Tamari (aged soy sauce)

1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Liberally salt the water, add the pasta and cook al dente. Drain and toss with a little bit of vegetable oil.

2. While the pasta water is coming to a boil, place a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, twice around the pan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and zucchini and cook until the onions and zucchini start to get tender, 4 - 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and bok choy and cook for another 2 -3 minutes. Add the stock, bring up to a bubble, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and remove from the heat.

3. In a small bowl, combine the toasted sesame seeds, ground coriander, chili powder, and cayenne pepper and reserve for garnishing the soup.

4. To serve, use a pair of tongs to twist a portion of the whole-wheat noodles into a nest (or just spoon in the noodles) and transfer to a soup bowl. Douse the noodles with some tamari (we use soy sauce-a little goes a long way, so don't add too much) and sprinkle with the sesame-spice mixture. Ladle the vegetables and broth over the noddles and serve with chopstick and large soup spoons for slurping.

This can be on the table in about 20 minutes, is pretty healthy, and something really different. Hope you enjoy this!

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