Episode

Ep 9 Miso Udon with Braised Tau Kwa

There are three main types when it comes to Japanese noodles: ramen, the wheat-based curly yellow noodles often found in instant noodles, soba, thin brown-grey noodles generally made from buckwheat, and udon, thick white wheat noodles. Udon are light and easy to digest, but many variations are also highly refined and so should be consumed sparingly.

When shopping for miso paste, be sure to check the ingredients list as most contain the fish Bonito. Miso paste can sometimes be difficult to dissolve in a large amount of water, so you may want to first dissolve it in some hot water in a small bowl, before pouring the mixture into the rest of the water.

Dried kelp and seaweed make this dish quintessentially Japanese, while the spring onions give it a subtle flavour. Seaweed is considered an ancient superfood because of its high mineral content and iodine. Iodine plays an important role in regulating the thyroid, which controls hormones essential to your metabolism.

However, if you don’t have any seaweed or spring onions, you can substitute it with any type of vegetables that you have on hand—broccoli, carrots or any green leafy vegetables also work really well.

Tau kwa is essentially firm tofu and so is low in calories, high in protein and iron, and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is even thought to provide the same sort of protection against cancer and heart disease as soya beans.


Ingredients

Miso udon
200 g udon
Enough water to cover the udon when boiling
2 heaped tbsp miso paste (most miso pastes contain the fish Bonito – blog post only)
400 ml hot water
1 tsp dried kelp
1 stalk fresh spring onions, sliced
Shredded roasted seaweed, to taste

Braised tau kwa
400 g firm tofu, sliced into 1-cm pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce paste
2 tbsp water


Method

1.    Heat a medium-sized non-stick frying pan over medium flame. Place tofu in a single layer on pan. Flip tofu when browned.
2.    In the meantime, mix soy sauce paste with water.
3.    When both sides of tofu are browned, add soy sauce mix, ensuring all tofu slices are covered.
4.    Turn heat down and simmer until soy sauce mix has thickened. Set aside.
5.    Place udon and water in a pot and bring to boil. After 3–5 minutes, drain, rinse with cold water and divide into bowls.
6.    Dissolve miso paste in water, then add kelp so that it expands and softens.
7.    Pour miso soup into udon bowls, and top with spring onions, seaweed and braised tau kwa.

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