I first read about House Food’s Tofu Shiratake Noodles on Hungry Girl and was pretty intrigued by the low calorie/low carb aspect. Obviously I’m far from a carb (or calorie!) counter, but the idea that I could eat an entire package of noodles and not feel guilty about it was an alluring concept. Looking at the package of noodles, however, I knew they probably wouldn’t be good with pasta sauce, so I thought about what goes well with tofu. Miso soup immediately sprang into mind, and I thought we could make a sort of miso pseudo ramen soup that would be filling and nutritious.
Josh is the miso soup expert in our household, so he took care of making the dashi. He did this by shelling approximately 20 shrimp and boiling the shells in a pot of water with a handful of dried bonito flakes. If you don’t have shrimp on hand, don’t worry about it. If you just filleted a fish and have a fish head or some fish bones, you can throw those in. But they’re also not necessary, they just add a different flavor to the soup. The bonito flakes are important though and you should always have those on hand. You can get them at almost any Asian supermarket.
Basically just boil all the flavor from the shells and flakes into the water. Keep a lid partially on top so that it doesn’t boil over but all the liquid won’t evaporate too quickly. Check it periodically to make sure you don’t need to add more water. Strain the dashi into a new pot (or you could strain it into a big mixing bowl and wash out the first pot before putting the dashi back in). Season with soy sauce to taste.
Now you just throw in whatever ingredients you have on hand. Wakame seaweed is a big favorite of ours. It’s cool to see the tiny pieces of dried seaweed expand into big sheets in the soup. We also usually add cubes of soft tofu, but this time we replaced the tofu with the Shiratake Noodles. These noodles come in liquid so make sure you wash them really well. They have a weird fishy smell when they come out of the package so just beware, but the smell goes away after a few thorough rinses. These noodles are also super long so I use scissors to cut them in half. Not necessary, but makes them easier to handle when you eat them.
We threw the shrimp in last minute so they don’t overcook and get rubbery. As soon as they turn pink, which is pretty quickly, they’re ready to eat. Top with fresh chives or scallions, and enjoy!
This miso soup with Shiratake Noodles really makes a quick, healthy, and filling meal. The noodles have kind of a bouncy texture to them, but you can cook them forever and they’ll still be a bit “crunchy”. The weird texture makes them not ideal for pasta sauce, in my opinion, but in soup, they’re kind of like ramen noodles. They even have the same curly look to them. I don’t think of them as a replacement for regular noodles, but they’re nice to have once in a while and I don’t feel as guilty stuffing my face. Try them out sometime – just don’t be put off by the weird smell at first. They’re actually pretty good, and good for you.