Mealtimes in our house have become a chance to explore other countries and cultures for a little escapism and added food education to our day! This delicious bowl of noodle soup allowed us plenty of chatting about soy beans – soy sauce and miso plus the flavour of umami…
Mushrooms can be a very hit and miss addition to kids meals. We’ve featured mushrooms in Foodini Club in our popular Fungki Burger recipe which mixes the mushrooms with spices, black beans and breadcrumbs to make a delicious burger patty with tonnes of flavour. However, eating mushrooms as plain mushrooms can be challenging.
Cooked in this way with a Japanese marinade and grilled before being added to a rich broth transforms the mushrooms into strips of deliciousness that is completely different to meat and works beautifully with the green veggies in the soup. Anyway, onwards to the recipe!
Serves 4-6 (4 adult portions or up to 6 smaller portions)
- 1ltr vegetable stock (you could use a bit less if making smaller amounts)
- Approx 150g rice noodles (you could swap for buckwheat if you prefer)
- 1 head of pak choi
- 3 leaves of cabbage such as savoy, sweetheart, white etc
- 2 stalks of celery
- 5 medium size broccoli florets
- A handful of mange tout beans (you could use sugar snap peas or frozen peas too)
- 4 spring onions – only chop off each end and peel off any tired outer casing, but you can use the green leaves too
- 1 10cm piece of dried kombu seaweed (optional but really helps develop a rich broth flavour)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 0.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 heaped teaspoons of brown rice miso paste
- 2-3 large field mushrooms
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 0.5 tbsp mirin
- 0.5 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil
- Start by making the broth – bring the vegetable stock to a simmer and add the piece of kombu seaweed if using.
- Cook the noodles in a separate pan according to package instructions, refresh with cold water and drizzle a little soy sauce over them when cooked. Keep aside.
- Chop up your veggies: slice the broccoli into thin slices, the celery into 1cm moons, thin strips of cabbage, small chunks of pak choi, slices of mange tout and finely sliced spring onions
- Make the mushroom marinade in a small bowl by mixing the marinade ingredients from garlic downwards in the list above.
- Place mushrooms on a baking tray, spread the marinade over one side and grill for 4-5mins on high heat until it softens and browns
- Flip mushrooms, spread more marinade over the other side and grill that side for 4-5mins more. Once done, pour off the excess cooking liquid from the tray into the soup broth and set aside until ready to serve.
- Add the veggies to the broth working from hardest veg to softest, cooking a few mins in between (so broccoli first with celery, leave 3-4mins then add cabbage and simmer 4-5mins, add mange tout and finish with pak choi and cook a further 3-4mins.
- Add the soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar to the broth. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso paste (don’t add while the heat is still on).
- Before serving remove the kombu seaweed (you can eat it if you like but it’s done the work by this point! Maybe a great chance for kids to try a taste of seaweed)
- Using a fork or chopsticks, place a nest of noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Pour over the vegetable broth and add in spoonfuls of the vegetables on top.
- Chop the mushrooms into slices and lay a few pieces on top of the soup. Scatter with spring onions and serve!
Obviously the green vegetables you use can be adapted as you like – this gives you a great chance to explore green veg with kids and build a wok clock style approach of lining up the veggies according to cooking times! It would also be delicious with small chunks of tofu and a little wakame seaweed added at the end, like a good miso soup.