If you’re used to eating $0.12 ramen, listen up.
Noodle bowls do not have to taste like salt and preservatives and sadness. In fact, when done right, they can be the asian equivalent of chicken noodle soup – homey and comforting and freaking delicious (and without, you know, chicken).
Kitsune means fox in Japanese, and folklore says that foxes are quite fond of fried tofu, which tops this delicious bowl. If you don’t have tofu, or you’re soy-free, the rest of the soup is just as fantastic on it’s own, so don’t fret. Most of the flavor is rooted in a simple, savory ginger broth, with some sliced raw vegetables for texture and color.
Kitsune Soba Noodle Soup
FOR THE BROTH
– 4 cups water
– 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce if not gf)
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
– 2 vegan bouillon cubes
– 1 – 1.5″ fresh ginger root peeled and minced
FOR THE REST
– 6oz buckwheat soba noodles
– 1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced into thin slabs
– oil for frying
– 1 small carrot, sliced very thin on the bias
– any other toppings you’d like, sliced small/thin (I used snow peas and spring onions here)
Add all the broth ingredients to a small pot and bring a boil. Turn the heat to low and cover.
While the broth steeps, heat a nonstick pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I used olive oil, but use whatever you want. Fry the tofu slices on both sides until golden brown and super crispy. Remove from the pan and rest on paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Cook the noodles to the package directions (mine took about 4 minutes). Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well agin. Place the noodles into bowls and pour the hot broth over them. Julienne the tofu slices, and top the noodles with the tofu and whatever other toppings you’re using. Serve immediately.
If you have leftovers, I recommend storing the noodles and broth separately. Otherwise, the soba noodles will soak up all the liquid and get mushy, and you’ll have to add more water to get back to soup again.
I could eat soup by itself three times a day for most of the year, but sometimes you want something to help round your meal These spring rolls are delicious and light (especially if you don’t ruin them by trying to bake them… see notes below), and round the soup out into a more substantial meal.
Rice Paper Spring Rolls
– 1/2 head green cabbage, sliced very thinly
– 3-4 scallions, green parts only, sliced on the bias
– 1 large carrot, julienne
– 1 cucumber, julienne
– 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, & julienne
– 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce if not gf)
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp rice vinegar
– 1/2 an avocado, pitted
– 8 rice paper spring roll wrappers
Slice the avocado half into 8 slices and set aside. Toss the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little cooking spray. Add the vegetables and cook a couple minutes until the cabbage starts to soften. Add the garlic, sugar, and soy sauce and cook another couple minutes. Add the rice vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook a few more minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off and the vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
Find a dish or pan that is large enough for the rice paper to lie flat inside. I used a 9”x13” casserole dish. add enough hot tap water to the dish to submerge the rice paper, and soak 1 sheet of rice paper for about 10-15 seconds, or until the paper is soft but not mush. Lay the paper on a cutting board and rub it gently with your wet hands to flatten it and work in more water until it’s very pliable
Put a handful of filling on the rice paper, slightly below the center, working from the edge closest to you. Pick up the edge closest to you and bring it up over the filling. Place a slice of avocado against the part you just wrapped, fold the right and left sides of the rice paper toward the center, and then roll it up snugly the rest of the way.
I baked mine at 350F for about 40 minutes, brushed with a little oil, hoping to crisp them, but I’d recommend learning from my mistake. I ate one before i put them in the oven and i should have left them alone. They weren’t terrible baked, but they didn’t get crispy and they tasted much fresher without the oven.
If you really want that crispy bite, I’d recommend finding some egg-free wonton wrappers and deep frying those babies. If you’re going to do something, do it all the way, right?