shiitake, miso and ginger broth with soba noodles

Have you heard the saying, healthy gut, healthy life? You might not, because I just made it up. Or it might exist, who knows, but its absolutely, without a doubt, TRUE. An astonishing 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, and if your intestinal bacteria is out of whack, with the bad guys overriding the good, you’re in for a slew of health problems. You need the good guys to produce antibodies to nasty invaders, and help the body distinguish between the harmful pathogens and not-so-harmful antigens, because overreacting to the latter can result in allergies, and I know firsthand how frustrating that is. So, let me introduce to you another gut-loving recipe with miso, because I can’t (and you shouldn’t) get enough of the stuff. It’s a simple broth, topped with omega 3 and calcium-rich wakame. Oh, and wakame contains fucoxanthin, a compound shown to burn fatty tissue in mice. So, if you skipped this morning’s spin class, don’t feel bad, just make this soup.

shiitake miso ginger broth sobaThis can be thrown together in minutes – literally. It can even be one of those ‘clean out your fridge’ meals, when you’re on the cusp of a new food-shopping cycle. Most of the basics you would (and should) have in your pantry, especially as they form the basis of many other quick and easy meals, like stock, soba noodles and miso. I’ve made this with tofu, with mixed mushrooms, with double ginger, with no ginger (unfortunately)…the list goes on, so just remember the base essentials and you’re sweet. Light yet filling, and with a nice warmth from the ginger and chilli, this broth is beautiful.

Imageshiitake, miso and ginger broth with soba noodles – serves 2 – can be modified to be gluten-free

you’ll need…

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4cm piece of ginger, grated finely with microplane or box grater (I love ginger – if you don’t, maybe dial it back a notch)
  • 150g shiitake mushrooms, sliced (occasionally, I come across a fab little pack of mixed Asian mushrooms – these work wonderfully)
  • 90g soba noodles (these are a mixture of buckwheat and wheat, but you can find 100% buckwheat noodles at health food stores, to make them gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste, divided between two bowls
  • 1 spring onion, sliced finely on diagonal
  • wakame/nori sheets sliced thinly, to garnish
  • chilli flakes, optional
  • roasted (black) sesame seeds
  • optional additions: tofu (slice and add with the noodles)

here’s what you do…

  1. Bring the stock to the boil, add ginger and mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add noodles, and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until tender
  3. Pour hot broth over miso (miso should never be boiled – this is to keep the good bacteria in check) and stir to dissolve.
  4. Top with spring onions, wakame/nori, sesame seeds and chilli flakes, if using. Add more miso, if you wish, as most of the flavour will come from there.

See? Told you it was easy.

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