Tsukimi udon (literally ‘moon-viewing’ udon) is a simple Japanese noodle soup dish consisting of udon (Japanese thick noodles) in a broth topped with poached egg. The peculiar name stems from the fact that the egg resembles full moon in mid-autumn. Like most Japanese noodle soups, dashi (bonito fish stock) is used to flavour the soup, rendering it non-vegetarian. Though I am technically pescetarian, I always prefer to keep my cooking vegetarian.
The following is my recipe for vegetarian tsukimi udon using shiitake and vegetable broth. I normally save the water I use to reconstitute shiitake as all the flavours are in the water. Shiitake has a naturally fragrant and earthy flavour that works beautifully in soups. Although tsukimi udon usually consists of only udon and egg, I added more stuff in mine to make it more nutritious and filling. And prettier of course. 🙂
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1 cup of shiitake water (from reconstituting 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms)
- 1 strip of kombu (dried kelp), washed to remove excess salt
- 1 cup of reduced sodium vegetable stock (or vegetable stock cube dissolved in water)
- 1 egg
- 1 portion of udon noodles
- 1 handful of spring onions or scallions, sliced
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of mirin (sweet sake for cooking)
- a light dash of sesame oil
Other optional ingredients:
- 1 inari pocket (marinated deep fried tofu pocket), cut into two triangles
- 25g shimeji mushrooms
- 20g enoki mushrooms
- a pinch of dried wakame
1. In a saucepan, heat shiitake water, vegetable stock, and kombu. Bring to a boil. Taste stock and discard kombu. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl or cup, reconstitute dried wakame in some water.
2. Add mirin and soy sauce to the stock. Then add mushrooms and udon noodles.
3. When mushrooms and noodles are cooked, ladle into bowl. Crack an egg into the bowl but be careful not to break the yolk. The hot soup will gently poach the egg.
4. Drain and add wakame, inari triangles, a drizzle of sesame oil, and spring onions.