Recipe Miso Nikomi Udon

 


Miso Nikomi Udon is a beloved dish from the Aichi prefecture of Japan, known for its comforting and rich flavors. This hearty dish features thick udon noodles simmered in a robust miso-based broth, often accompanied by various vegetables, tofu, and sometimes meat or seafood. The combination of savory miso, chewy udon noodles, and a medley of ingredients creates a deeply satisfying and nourishing meal. In this article, we'll explore the ingredients needed, the preparation process, tips for perfecting the dish, variations to try, calorie information, and a concluding note on this delightful culinary experience.

Ingredients

Essential Ingredients

For the Broth

  • 4 cups dashi broth (made from dashi powder or kombu and bonito flakes)
  • 1/4 cup red miso paste (Aka miso)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste (Shiro miso)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the Udon Noodles and Add-ins

  • 400g fresh or frozen udon noodles
  • 200g chicken thigh, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 200g firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek or green onion, cut into thin slices
  • 1 shiitake mushroom, sliced
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 2-3 stalks of mitsuba (Japanese parsley) or spinach for garnish

Preparation

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preparing the Dashi Broth

    • In a pot, combine 4 cups of water with dashi powder or make dashi from scratch using kombu and bonito flakes. Bring to a simmer.
  2. Making the Miso Broth

    • Once the dashi broth is ready, lower the heat and add the red and white miso pastes. Stir until the miso is completely dissolved.
    • Add mirin and soy sauce to the broth. Keep the broth warm on low heat.
  3. Preparing the Ingredients

    • If using chicken, cook the thinly sliced chicken thigh in a separate pan until fully cooked.
    • Cube the tofu, slice the carrot and shiitake mushroom, and cut the leek or green onion into thin slices.
  4. Cooking the Udon Noodles

    • In a separate pot, bring water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook according to the package instructions until they are al dente.
    • Drain the noodles and set them aside.
  5. Simmering the Ingredients in the Miso Broth

    • Add the cooked chicken (if using), tofu, carrot, shiitake mushroom, and leek or green onion slices to the miso broth. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
    • Add the cooked udon noodles to the pot and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  6. Optional Egg

    • If using an egg, crack it into the pot during the last few minutes of simmering and let it cook to your desired level of doneness.
  7. Serving the Miso Nikomi Udon

    • Divide the noodles and broth into individual bowls.
    • Garnish with mitsuba or spinach.
    • Serve hot and enjoy the rich, comforting flavors.

Tips

  • Dashi Quality: Using high-quality dashi is crucial for the depth of flavor in the broth. Homemade dashi from kombu and bonito flakes is recommended.
  • Miso Balance: Combining red and white miso provides a balanced flavor. Adjust the proportions based on your taste preference.
  • Cooking Time: Be mindful of the cooking time for vegetables to ensure they are tender but not overcooked.
  • Fresh Noodles: Fresh or frozen udon noodles provide the best texture. Avoid using dried noodles if possible.

Variations

  • Vegetarian Miso Nikomi Udon: Omit the chicken and add more vegetables like napa cabbage, spinach, or daikon radish.
  • Seafood Miso Nikomi Udon: Replace chicken with shrimp, scallops, or fish fillets for a seafood version.
  • Spicy Miso Nikomi Udon: Add a spoonful of spicy miso paste or a sprinkle of chili flakes to the broth for a spicy kick.

Calorie Information

The calorie content of Miso Nikomi Udon can vary based on the ingredients and portion sizes. On average, a serving of Miso Nikomi Udon (about 500 grams) can contain approximately:

  • Udon Noodles (200g): 210 calories
  • Dashi Broth and Miso Paste: 50-70 calories
  • Chicken Thigh (100g): 150 calories
  • Tofu (100g): 70-80 calories
  • Vegetables (assorted, 100g): 30-50 calories
  • Egg (1 large): 70 calories

Overall, a typical serving of Miso Nikomi Udon can range between 580 to 680 calories, depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes.

Conclusion

Miso Nikomi Udon is a hearty and flavorful dish that embodies the essence of Japanese comfort food. With its rich miso broth, chewy udon noodles, and a variety of delicious add-ins, it is perfect for warming up on a cold day or whenever you crave a nourishing meal. By following the steps outlined in this recipe and incorporating some of the suggested tips and variations, you can create a delightful Miso Nikomi Udon that will impress your taste buds and provide a deeply satisfying dining experience. Enjoy the blend of savory flavors and the comforting warmth of this classic Japanese dish.

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