From Anil Muldhokar
Yield: About 2 to 4 servings, depending on the size of your bowl and the size of your appetite.
- 2.5 cups water
- 2 tsps ground or 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 green onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large black mushroom or shiitake, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tbsp carrot, thin julienne or match stick cut (about 2″ of a medium carrot)
- 2 tbsp shoyu
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine, mirin, or sake
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mushroom sauce (vegetarian oyster sauce substitute)
- 3-4 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp hot chili oil (more or less to taste)
- 1 big handful baby spinach (1.5-2 cups)
- 1 or 2 tsp sugar, optional (omit if using mirin)
- 1 or 2 eggs, optional
- 4-6 dried bean curd knots or a small sheet of dried bean curd, optional (available in most Asian markets)
- 8 oz or 200 gm fresh udon noodles (available in most Asian markets; can substitute dry udon noodles available at most grocery stores)
In one container, bring water to a boil for cooking the noodles. Cook according to directions.
In a separate container, heat 2.5 cups water to a low simmer. Be careful not to boil. As the water heats, add all ingredients except for spinach and eggs, if used. Simmer until flavors are combined, or about 15 or 20 minutes. I usually use the texture of the carrots as a guide.
If you are going to add egg, add to the simmering broth for last 3 to 5 minutes. You can agitate it for a Chinese egg drop soup texture, or you can carefully slide the egg in to keep the broth more clear.
Add the spinach to the broth just before serving, or place directly in the bowls, to prevent it from over cooking.
To serve, place noodles in the bowl or bowls with cooking chopsticks or pasta tongs. Ladle the broth on top.
As a time saver, you can cook your noodles in the broth as you make it, but make sure you don’t bring the noodles to a boil.
You can use dried udon noodles, though they generally need to be cooked at a boil, so these should be cooked separately.
Shaoxing, or Shao Hsing, cooking wine generally has salt in it, so you may want to use less of this or the shoyu to control the amount of salt in your soup.