The inspiration for this perfect bowl of noodles was simple. I wanted a new set of bowls and a sake set for our little Denver home. It was also perfect timing as the new fortnight theme over at the Cookbook Challenge (check the group out…fantastic collection of unique recipes) was “noodles”. Two birds, one stone or something like that!
We are lucky to be within walking distance to Pacific Mercantile Market in Sakura Square. If I couldn’t find the perfect set there, I probably wouldn’t find it anywhere! So many choices…but sadly, too little room for multiple sets. I had to choose one (yes, only one). And…I will be honest, it wasn’t easy!
Gosh…how cute…but…aaahhhh…no…don’t need and no room!
And I selected…
Now…off to the kitchen to make a Shrimp Udon Noodle Bowl.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.
Although homemade dashi (Japanese seaweed broth) is part of the easy beauty of this dish, you can substitute instant dashi in a pinch (Pacific Mercantile sells and ships dashi soup base along with many other items). If you take that shortcut, infuse the broth with fresh ginger.
- 2 large sheets kombu (kelp)
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1 cup bonito flakes (about 1/4 ounce)
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
- 1 carrot cut into small sticks
- 2 bok choy, halved
- 1 (14-ounce) package udon noodles
- 2 green onions, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 pound large shrimp deveined
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1. Wipe kombu clean with a cloth and cut sheeting lengthwise into 3 inch pieces. Place kombu in a large saucepan over medium high heat, cover with 2 quarts water. Heat to 180 degrees or until tiny bubbles for around edge. Do not boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and discard kombu. Stir in bonito and ginger and let stand until bonito sinks (about 10 minutes). Strain through cheesecloth over a bowl and discard solids. Put back on stove, add carrots and simmer until soft. Add bok choy and simmer until tender.
2. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Combine sugar, soy sauce, mirin and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well. Add shrimp and mushrooms to broth; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar mixture. Place about 1 cup noodles in each of 4 bowls; top with 2 cups broth mixture. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
Time to eat!