January 24, 2015

Pan-Asian Shirataki Noodle Bowl

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Is there anything better than slurping on a noodle bowl? The broth in this one is fabulous. Guzzle it after you finish chopsticking the noodles, tofu and veggies. The vegetables are added in stages so they can be piled separately onto the noodles, for esthetic appeal. But, as my mother used to inelegantly point out, it’s all going to the same place, so you can try a faster free-for-all (variation below). For this filling meal, you’ll spend a total of 125 calories per person, thanks largely to the shirataki noodles. It’s vegan, too. (All about shirataki: Do You Believe in Miracles?)

       A noodle bowl for slurping. Credit: Susan Sampson


8 oz (250 g) tofu shirataki angel-hair noodles, rinsed
2 cups (500 mL) each: low-sodium vegetable stock, water
1 tbsp (15 mL) white miso
2 tsp (10 mL) minced lemongrass
1 tsp (5 mL) or more sea salt
4 oz (125 g) mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled, cut in matchsticks
1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced fennel
2 cups (500 mL) coarsely chopped spinach leaves
4 oz (125 g) firm tofu, cubed (1/2 inch/1 cm)
Shichimi togarashi to taste
1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro leaves
2 green onions (white + light green parts), thinly sliced

In medium bowl, microwave shirataki 3 minutes. Drain.

In medium pan, heat stock, water, miso, lemongrass and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt on medium-high. Stir often. When miso dissolves and stock comes to boil, add shirataki. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Using mesh scoop or slotted spoon, transfer shirataki to 2 wide, shallow serving bowls. Cover to keep warm.

Add mushrooms to broth in pan. Simmer 3 minutes, or until tender. Using mesh scoop, transfer to small bowl, then cover. Add carrot and fennel. Simmer 1 minute, or until tender-crisp. Using mesh scoop, transfer to another small bowl, then cover. Add spinach. Simmer 1 minute, or until wilted. Using mesh scoop, transfer to another small bowl, then cover. Add tofu. Simmer 1 minute, or until heated through. Remove from heat.

Using mesh scoop, transfer tofu to serving bowls, arranging it over small section of shirataki. Arrange carrot and fennel mixture, mushrooms and spinach over separate sections of shirataki.

Adjust salt in stock. Carefully ladle into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with shichimi togarashi. Top with cilantro and green onions.

Makes 2 servings.

  • The shirataki for this recipe are measured drained. Water amounts vary by package. About 10% to 20% may be water weight.
  • The fennel must be thinly sliced – indeed, shaved.
  • This soup is delicious with any kind of Asian wheat, soba or rice noodles, but these will raise the calorie count substantially.

Shopping Cart: You may use traditional white or brown shirataki instead of tofu shirataki. Chunks of indigestible lemongrass are a turnoff, so I cheat on chopping chores by buying minced lemongrass in a tub and freezing it in portions. You can use any kind of mushroom. Button mushrooms were all I had in the fridge for the dish in the photograph. But petite enokis and shimejis are cute, and shiitakes are pleasantly pungent.

S is for Shichimi Togarashi: This popular Japanese chili seasoning is sold in some supermarkets, usually in the sushi section. The spice blend includes chilies, orange peel, sesame seeds, pepper, seaweed and ginger.


Lazy Pan-Asian Shirataki Noodle Bowl
After dividing shirataki between serving bowls, add mushrooms to stock and simmer 1 minute. Add carrot, fennel, spinach and tofu. Simmer 1 minute. Ladle onto noodles. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.