Umami Udon Noodles

As vegans we don't get a whole lot of umami in our lives. What's umami? It's one of the five basic tastes. Surely you're familiar with the sweet, salty, sour, and bitter tastes. Well, Umami is a kind of savory flavor that was first scientifically identified in 1908.  Meat and cheese are good sources of umami, as well as shiitake mushrooms, and I often find myself craving this savory type of flavor. Nutritional yeast is a source of umami, which is probably why I consume questionably monstrous large quantities of the stuff. If you want to read more about umami, you can do that here and here. Also, check out this interesting little article on umami by NPR, here, while you're at it! 

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesTempeh, shiitake mushrooms, and miso combine their delicious powers for one hearty and savory udon noodle dish that's sure to cure that umami craving when it hits! 

Umami Udon Noodles  

Serves 4

  • 8 oz. packaged udon noodles
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. tempeh, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 oz. dried (or 8 oz. fresh) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced & soaking water reserved
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste (or minced ginger)
  • 1 tsp. lemon grass paste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom soaking water or vegetable broth
  • 3-4 Tbsp. miso (I like red)
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Notes: If you have an aversion to tempeh, feel free to use firm tofu, or neither!

Start by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms in 2 cups of very hot water. I like to put a big spoon over the mushrooms to help keep the, submerged. Allow to soak for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain when ready to use but keep the soaking water for later on in the recipe. If you're using fresh mushrooms you won't need to soak them and you can just use vegetable broth or water to replace the soaking water.

In a small saucepan, cook udon noodles according to package instructions. This usually includes boiling the noodles for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. We will not use the sauce packet, it's not vegan.

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon Noodles

In a large frying pan, heat the sesame oil. Add the onion, tempeh, and garlic. Saute for about 10-15 minutes, or until the onions have started to brown and caramelize. 

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesNow, add the sliced shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and lemongrass. Saute for an additional 3-5 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesAdd in the soy sauce, vinegars, water/broth, and the miso. Stir well to combine, dissolving the miso and deglazing the pan.

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesAdd the udon noodles to the pan along with the spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the noodles are heated and the spinach is wilted. You can even cover it with a lid to help the spinach wilt. 

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesServe hot and garnished with some fresh cilantro and sesame seeds. 

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon Noodles Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesHello umami bomb.

Produce On Parade - Umami Udon NoodlesToe tappin' to MGMT – Electric Feel

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Veggie Miso Udon Soup

Confession time...I've been perusing the rescue shelter website again. I know, I know. Don't judge! I'm trying to talk Todd into getting an older, smaller dog. He's seven years old and his name is Oreo and he's been there since July 31st! So sad. Plus, Bailey needs a friend. Cross your fingers that he'll come home with us soon! I have a feeling that soon after this post goes up, I'll be in trouble...heh heh.  Anyways, besides stalking the rescue site, I've been craving some udon soup. Big time. There's this place in the mall in Anchorage (yes, we only have one mall...okay that's a lie, but it is the mall) called Souper Bowl and they have the most wonderful udon soup and sometimes, a few times a year, I get a crazy-cracked-out-craving for it! So, I decided it was finally time to try to recreate it. I think I did a damn good job, too.

Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon Soup

This soup could not be easier, and it's "udon" healthy...udon...uber...get it? Oh nevermind. It's packed with steamed veggies, cubed silken tofu and a healthy dose of miso. Udon noodles are my favorite noodle. I don't really know what it is exactly about them  but I just love 'em! I could not wait to make this soup and once it was done, I couldn't stop eating it! It was an extra exciting day in addition to this soup, because Todd got me a surprise gift! See the bottom of the post to see what!

Veggie Miso Udon Soup 

Inspired by Souper Bowl and No Whey No Cow

Serves 6-8

  • --For The Broth--
  • 1o cups water
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. erythritol (or sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp. ginger paste (or finely minced ginger)
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 sheet of Nori seaweed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup miso paste (I prefer red)
  • --Goodies--
  • 1 head of broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 8 oz. packages of udon noodles (sauce packet tossed, eww)
  • 1 12 oz. package silken tofu, cubed
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach

First, steam the chopped broccoli and carrots so they are just tender. Once done, set aside for use later. 

Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon SoupIn a large soup pot, bring the water along with all the broth ingredients, excluding the miso paste, to a boil. Once boiling, turn to a simmer and once it stops boiling, add in the miso paste. Whisk well to incorporate. 

Now, add in the udon noodles and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they have separated. Add in the cubed tofu and stir gently to combine. 

Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon Soup

Serve in a giant normal-person, reasonable-sized soup bowl and add in the spinach, steamed broccoli, and carrots. Allow a few minutes for the spinach to wilt and then eat up!

Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon Soup Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon Soup

Holy closeup! Helllllo spinach.

Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon Soup

How did I get those macro photos? With a macro lens of course! Todd bought me one and Lightroom, as well! Hurray! We He has a 20mm wide angle as well as a 50mm 1.4.

Produce On Parade - Veggie Miso Udon Soup

Oh, it's Oreo! Look at him, he really needs some love! He must have put this on the blog...what a clever little guy.

Produce On Parade

On repeat, Wild Child – Someone Else

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