Warm Soba in Broth with Spinach and Tofu

In this restorative recipe, soba is served in dashi, a broth made with bonito-tuna flakes and kombu (a kind of seaweed that's loaded with calcium, iodine and magnesium), and combined with protein-packed tofu.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 4 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (see Note)
  • 10 ounces soba noodles (see Note)
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons instant dashi or 1 tablespoon miso paste (see Note)
  • 4 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded daikon
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed, cut into 1/8-inch strips (see Note)

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the broiler. Spray the mushroom caps with vegetable oil cooking spray, season with salt and pepper and broil 6 inches from the heat, turning the caps once, until lightly browned and tender, about 6 minutes. Let cool, then thinly slice the mushrooms.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the sugar into the soy sauce and mirin until dissolved.
  3. In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the soba noodles, stirring once or twice, until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water and drain again thoroughly. Add the boiling water and instant dashi to the saucepan. Add the tofu and shiitake and simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach. Transfer the soba to 4 deep bowls and spoon the dashi mixture on top. Garnish the soba with the daikon, scallion and nori and serve right away, passing the soy sauce mixture alongside.

Notes

One Serving 328 calories, 3 gm total fat, 0.1 gm saturated fat, 64 gm carb.

Most Japanese products are now available at large supermarkets, health food stores and Asian markets. Look for soba noodles with a high percentage of buckwheat.

Suggested Pairing

Pungent sake is a classic pairing with this light, salty broth. Or, contrast the brininess with an off-dry California Chenin Blanc.

Contributed By Photo © Jim Franco Published January 2004

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