• Ichimi togarashi (Japanese ground red chili pepper) Shichimi togarashi or nanami should be reserved for the rare special occasion. Many grocery stores sell zucchini spirals (or “zoodles”) in the prepared food section, which is a bonus for convenience. If wood ear mushrooms are unavailable, substitute shiitake mushrooms. • 1. Place the wood ear mushrooms in a small bowl, add about 2 cups water, and set aside, allowing them to rehydrate. In a separate small bowl, combine the miso paste and 2 tablespoons warm water, stir, and set aside to dissolve. In a large saucepan, dry sauté the ginger and the white part of the scallions until softened and fragrant. Add just enough water or broth to prevent them from completely drying out. Push the ginger and scallions to the edge of the pan and drizzle sesame oil into the centre of the pan. Add the garlic to the small puddle of oil and sauté for 30 to 60 seconds, or until golden, being careful not to scorch. Toss to combine ingredients. Add the vegetable broth, radishes, nori flakes, and both the shiitake and rehydrated wood ear mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. (See note on noodles if using dry ramen, udon, or soba. Add those here and allow to cook, per instructions.) If using zoodles, add them along with the cabbage, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the dissolved miso paste and tamari and remove from heat. Divide evenly between two bowls to serve, making sure each bowl gets an equal amount of zoodles, radishes, mushrooms, scallions, cabbage, and broth. Garnish with sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and seasonings, as desired. • Garlicky Ginger “Zoodles” with Mushrooms and Red Cabbage Dashi 2. Wood ear mushrooms have a wonderful texture and flavour, a history of medicinal use, and the look of actual ears. The dried versions expand a surprising amount when soaked in water and thus, they are a key ingredient in this fun, lighter udon soup loaded with fresh vegetables. Dashi is a Japanese soup stock, traditionally made with sea vegetables, dried fish (usually bonito flakes), and dried mushrooms. It is used for miso soup, noodle dishes, and stews. Although there are only a few ingredients, this plant-based combination sets the stage for a savoury, umami, flavour-filled base. Prep time: Cook time: Yield: Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 mins 15 mins 5 cups 5 mins 20 mins 1 quart 3. • • • • • • ¼ cup dried wood ear mushrooms 4 tsp white miso paste 2 tbsp warm water 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger 1 bunch scallions, chopped (reserve green parts for garnish) 2 tsp sesame oil 2-3 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups Dashi or low-sodium vegetable broth 3-4 slices daikon radish, sliced round and then halved 1 tsp nori flakes ¼ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms 2 cups spiralised zucchini (“zoodles”) 2 cups shredded red cabbage (slice in long, thin shreds) 1 tbsp low-sodium tamari ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced 1 tsp nori flakes 2- to 3-in strip kombu • • 4. 1. In a saucepan, combine mushrooms and 4 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Add the nori and kombu and allow to steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Water should be hot but not simmering; if heated too vigorously, the kombu can get slimy. Strain the liquid into a bowl, squeezing as much liquid as possible from the solids. Discard the solids. Transfer the dashi from the bowl to a quart-size glass Mason jar for storage. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 4 to 6 months. • • • • 5. • • • • 2. • Notes • Optional garnishes This dish can be made with ramen, udon, or soba noodles, but these • Toasted sesame seeds 70 epicureasia.com
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