Spicy, nutritious noodles boost your appetite

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Clockwise from top right: Stir-fried udon with kimchi, cold udon with summer vegetables and soba with curry-flavored dipping broth

The Yomiuri ShimbunIf you add spices, noodle dishes are great in the hot and humid summer season, because the aromatic flavors help stimulate your appetite. Cooking expert Seiko Ogawa shared three recipes that are perfect for summer.

Noodle dishes can be made quickly if you have a soup or dipping broth. “[But] if you have noodles with a plain broth, the dish will lack nutrition and might taste a bit bland,” Ogawa said.

Many of the spices used in these recipes are commonly found in Chinese herbal medicines and provide the nutritional balance some broths lack. “Let’s make use of spices to enjoy a healthy summer,” Ogawa said.

Soba with curry-flavored dipping broth

The dashi enhances the flavor of the succulent chicken and broth. The dish tastes like a spicier version of kamonanban (soba noodles with duck broth).

1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.

2. Slice the white part of a long green onion into small pieces. Cut the remaining part into five- to six-centimeter pieces and slice each piece lengthwise into four.

3. Break maitake mushrooms into large clusters. Heat two teaspoons of sesame oil in a pan, stir-fry long green onions until wilted, and sprinkle curry powder over them.

Then let’s make the dipping broth.

4. Put the stir-fried maitake mushrooms, chicken, dashi broth and ⅓ cup of mirin in a pot, and heat.

5. When it comes to a boil, remove any residue from the surface and simmer for two or three minutes.

6. Add ⅓ cup of soy sauce with the juice from grated and squeezed ginger to the pot and heat until it begins to boil.

7. Boil soba noodles, rinse them in water, and drain them well.

8. Serve the noodles on a plate and garnish with the sliced raw green onions from step 2. Pour the dipping broth into a soba bowl and add the stir-fried long green onions.

Stir-fried udon with kimchi

The stir-fried kimchi and sesame oil add a savory aroma to this spicy dish, and an onsen egg (soft-boiled egg) tops it off perfectly.

1. Cut an onion into seven- or eight-millimeter-sized pieces and Chinese chives into four- or five-centimeter-sized pieces.

2. Cut pork into bite-size pieces and season the meat with salt and pepper. Squeeze kimchi to remove excess liquid and cut it into bite-size pieces. Keep the liquid drained from the kimchi to use later in the recipe.

“To extract the full flavor of kimchi, remove the excess liquid and cook it thoroughly,” Ogawa said.

3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan, stir-fry the pork and add the onions. Then add kimchi and continue stir-frying the ingredients.

4. Add the udon noodles and sprinkle a tablespoon of sake and two or three tablespoons of water over them.

5. Cover the pan with a lid and steam for two to three minutes.

6. When the udon noodles have separated, add the liquid from the kimchi, Chinese chives, a teaspoon of sesame oil and two teaspoons of soy sauce, and stir-fry the contents of the pan over a high heat.

7. Serve with an onsen egg.

Cold udon with summer veggies

This dish has a refreshing flavor, slightly accented with the flavor of yuzu kosho citrus pepper. Make the broth first.

1. In a pot, heat dashi broth and two tablespoons of mirin to a boil, then add 1½ tablespoons of soy sauce and simmer.

2. Add a tablespoon each of sesame paste and miso, turn off the heat, and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

3. Peel a tomato after steeping it in boiling water. Cut the peeled tomato crosswise in half, remove the seeds and cut into one-centimeter pieces.

4. Cut a cucumber into smaller pieces. Lightly boil okra and chop.

5. Add the vegetables to the broth and chill it in a refrigerator. To preserve the texture of the fresh vegetables, add them when the broth has completely cooled.

6. Cut myoga ginger into small pieces and green shiso leaves into thin strips.

7. Lightly boil udon noodles and rinse them in cold water. Add yuzu citrus pepper to the broth. Pour the broth over the noodles, top with tuna and garnish with myoga and sliced shiso.


Serves 2

Soba with curry-flavored broth

200 grams dried soba noodles

150 grams chicken thigh

1 large long green onion

70 grams maitake mushrooms

1 to 1½ tbsp curry powder

1¾ cups dashi broth (bonito)

1 tsp ginger juice

Stir-fried udon with kimchi

400 grams boiled udon noodles

100 grams chopped pork

½ onion

½ bunch Chinese chives

120 grams to 150 grams Chinese cabbage kimchi

2 onsen eggs


Cold udon with summer veggies

400 gram thin udon noodles

1 tomato (200 gram)

½ cucumber

3 okra

70 grams canned tuna

1 clove of myoga ginger

5 green shiso leaves

⅔ cup dashi broth

1 tbsp sesame paste

⅓ to 1 tsp yuzu kosho citrus pepper

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