Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nabeyaki Udon

Do you ever have the feeling you have gotten into a bit of a "food rut"? This was me. I was bored and feeling totally uninspired in the kitchen. While Pinterest is a constant flow of culinary visions, I often feel like Pinterest and I aren't on the same page. Ya, dig? Like I don't want to use Italian packet season, cream of chicken soup, or Ritz Crackers in my meals. So I decided to go through my cookbooks. One that I hadn't really looked at in awhile was The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone.  I had won a copy of this book on her blog and have rarely used it, even when I was vegan. What I love about her book is that there are recipes that do not solely rely on the use of Soy meat or dairy substitutes (there are a few of those in the earlier chapters). The Nabeyaki Udon caught my eye.  The description and ingredients lead me to feel that it would be very nourishing and comforting. And I was right. It is not a super easy dish and has quite a few steps but it was worth it. So if you have sometime and want to treat your body to something healthful and slurpable, this is yo jam.


  • dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 carrot cut up
  • 1 stalk of broccoli cut up
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, cleaned and cut up
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 1 handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 package of udon noodles
  • *These next ingredients are listed in Alicia's recipe but I did not have them on hand.

  • 4-6 dandelion leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 nappa cabbage leaves or collards, roughly chopped
  • 1" piece of kombu (I didn't have this but I would love to use it next time)

  • Sauce:

  • 4 teaspoons of shoyu (I used organic tamari)
  • 4 tablespoons of water from soaking shitake mushrooms
  • 5-8 drops of fresh ginger juice. (grate a 1" piece of ginger and squeeze)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice or rice vinegar

  • Steps:

    Place the shitake mushrooms in a small bowl with warm water and cover.  Soak until softened or for about 30 mins.

    While the shroomies are soakin' I chopped up my veggies and set them aside.  So pretty.

    Then I get the sauce ingredients going.  First I grated a 1" piece of ginger and squeezed some juice out.  Then, I squeezed a lil lemon until gave me what I needed . . . about a 1/2 tsp of juice.  To this I added 4 tbsp of the water from the mushrooms and about 2 tbsp of the organic tamari because I like it so much (the recipe calls for less)

    I already had a package of udon noodles so I just added some boiling water and covered them for about 3 mins.

    On the stove boil about 3 cups of water and the rest of the mushroom liquid.  Add the kombu if you have it and mushrooms and lower the heat to a simmer.  Begin adding veggies one at a time starting with the ones that take longer to cook (carrots for example).  Veggies shouldn't take longer than 2 mins to cook.  You still want them to have texture and be fresh.

    In a ceramic pot I start by adding a layer of noodles. Then, I add some veggies.

    I added about a cup of the water from the veggies and sauce to my liking.

    I covered my creation for like 5 minutes to let the flavors infuse the noodles and then . . . .

    I enjoyed!!