Posts tagged noodles

What the kids eat in… Japan

We love a bit of Japanese food here at VSHQ, whether it’s the okonomiyaki or the sushi slice or a variation on a noodle soup.

For this basic broth recipe, I’ve chosen to include udon noodles since they’re so damn FUN, but soba is also delicious. And just because I recommend tofu or salmon, don’t think for a second that you need listen to me – it would also be great with super thin slices of rump or shredded BBQ chicken. We’ve made it with the pork wontons and they went so well with these flavours that I’m expecting an invitation to the wedding any day now.

And that’s it for this week – I’m keeping it short & sweet, I’ve got a lot on my mind – one of which is the new VS cookbook which has just hit the shop. Check it out here!

Use the basic broth and add whatever suits your family.

Use the basic broth and add whatever suits your family.

Japanese udon soup

4 cups water
4 tbsp miso paste (use any, but at the moment I’m using a tub of organic brown rice miso- read all about the different types here)
2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed (leave them large enough so that you can fish them out later)
4 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced (again, if your family won’t eat them, leave the pieces large enough to flavour the soup but fish them out before serving).
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 star anise (optional, but recommended)

Serve with…
Udon noodles (prepare according to packet directions)
Add a protein… choose from either tofu or slices of salmon fillet
And add your choice of vegies… green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, carrots, spring onions, brocollini.
Optional extras…. top it off with dried wakame and/or sesame seeds.

Combine all the soup ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes. If you have time, turn off the heat and leave it all to sit for an hour or so to infuse.

When you’re ready to eat, bring the soup back to boiling, remove the garlic and star anise chunks (and mushrooms if your kids won’t tolerate it).

Add in the thicker vegies and the tofu/salmon for a couple of minutes, before adding in the quick cook items like snow peas.

Serve over the noodles and top with wakame and sesame seeds. Eat it with chopsticks and a big, slurpy Asian spoon.



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What’s Jamie’s best cookbook?

Chuck a heap of coriander, mint and chilli on the adult's serves.

Chuck a heap of coriander, mint and chilli on the adult’s serves.

The inspiration for this recipe is a noodle salad from Jamie Oliver’s ’30 minutes meals’ cookbook. I’ve evolved it quite a bit to suit my family and added a stack of extras (since that’s my thing really, isn’t it). We’ve been eating it every week for most of the summer since it ticks all the dinnertime boxes. It’s easy to make, I can make it ahead and serve it cold. And it’s delicious.

Do you think ’30 minute meals’ is Jamie’s best book? I do. It’s the cookbook of his that I return to often. Heaps of great flavours, all very accessible. Each time I browse through I find something else I want to make. The food is more healthy than his early recipes which featured meat, meat and a bit more meat but not as simplistic as the recipes in ’15 minute meals’, which I didn’t like so much. I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t cook anything from that book. Am I missing something there? I flip through that repeatedly and don’t bookmark anything. Perhaps point me in the direction of the recipes you like from that one and I promise to give them another look.

Noodle salad

250g dried egg noodles
1 red onion
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 carrot, peeled, grated
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
125g can corn, drained
1/2 cup cashews or peanuts, chopped
1 cucumber, halved, seeds removed, sliced
Mint & coriander to taste (I like heaps, the kids like none).
Lime wedges (optional)

In a mini-food processor, blitz together the onion, lime, sauces, sugar and oil. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to packet directions. Drain, return to the saucepan and pour over the blitzed sauce while they’re still hot (the onion will cook and mellow a bit). Mix through the carrot, capsicum and corn.

Once the initial heat fades, you can add in the nuts, cucumber and herbs.

Serves warm or cold.

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids.

Your family likes noodles? Try these dishes…
Beef Pho
Chicken & udon soup

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