Miso Soup with Bok Choy, Soba Noodles, and Tofu (or salmon)
Makes: 4 servings
Time: about 30 minutes
8 ounces of soba noodles (look for the Eden brand that's 100% buckwheat
14 ounces of lite, firm tofu (I prefer NaSoya brand); Salmon option: 8 ounces of wild salmon
Sauce of choice to season tofu: I like Dragunara Sweet Chili Sauce, or use teriyaki or another Asian sauce
1 tsp five-spice or chili powder & black pepper if broiling salmon
1/3 cup any miso (I used white miso)
1 pound bok choy, stems separated and chopped, leaves cut into ribbons
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted if you like
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Prep the tofu. Drain the water from the package, and cut the block into thirds, horizontally. Wrap the three slices in a tea towel & put a heavy pot or weight on top of it to press. After 30 minutes, cut each slice into 4 triangles, & spread one side with the sauce of your choice.
3. Add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook until tender but not mushy, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and rinse the noodles with cold water until cool.
4. Put 4 cups of vegetable broth into the pot, along with the 2 cups of reserved "noodle liquid", and set it to boil again. You'll have 6 cups of liquid in the pot.
5. Heat up a stove-top grill pan on high, and when it's hot, add the tofu triangles, sauce side down. Spread top of tofu with sauce. Watch carefully--it doesn't take too long for the tofu to nicely brown (as shown). Flip when the tofu is browned with grill marks. If using salmon, sprinkle with seasoning & either pan-fry without oil, or grill. Tofu won't stink or smoke up your kitchen! Trust me on this one.
6. When the water in the pot is almost boiling, put the miso in a small bowl, ladle in a cup or so of the heated broth, and whisk it until it's smooth.
7. When the broth is boiling, add the bok choy stems to the pot and let them cook for about a minute. Add the bok choy "ribbons" and continue cooking, adjusting the heat so the soup bubbles steadily, until the bok choy gets silky, 3 to 5 minutes more.
8. Turn the heat down to low, pour the miso mixture into the pot along with the soba noodles, and heat just long enough to warm everything, only a minute or two. Taste, adjust the seasoning.
9. Serve the soup immediately, topping with 3 tofu triangles each (or 1/4 of the salmon), and sprinkle with sesame seeds, and scallions.
It's great as leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day!