One of the best ways to use summer vegetables is to make a quick soup. If you want to add some bite to the medley of vegetables, noodles lend perfect balance to the dish. Ever since I visited Japan, I’ve wanted to try a dish at home using Udon noodles. They are thick wheat flour noodles which are best served in soups or broths. They are soft and sturdy at the same time which make them perfect ingredients for a wholesome meal. They leave you feeling full but not stuffed and veggies provide the required nourishment. For a Thai twist, we add kaffir lime leaves to provide so much flavour to this dish that you would not mind just sipping the warm soup.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 30 mins
- 10-12 baby corn, cut into small rounds
- 1 broccoli (around 250 gms), cut in florets
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 bell pepper / capsicum cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 12-15 French beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 – 2 cups of veg stock / water
- Udon noodles
- 2 Kaffir lime leaves cut into strips
- 1 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
Mixed veg with udon noodles
- Cook the Udon noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Do not cook them all the way – take them out when they are slightly underdone.
- Soak the lime leaves in some hot water. If you’re using veg stock, supplement it with this liquid.
- Place a pan over a medium-high flame. Add oil and wait till it just starts to shimmer.
- Add the onions and saute them till they turn translucent.
- Add the beans, corn, and carrot and saute them for ~30 seconds.
- Once you see a little colour on the veggies, add in the broccoli and bell peppers. Toss to combine.
- When the veggies are par-cooked, add in 1 cup of water / veg stock and the water from the soaked lime leaves. Cover and cook till the vegetables are just tender.
- Turn off the flame, add the udon noodles and let the soup steep for a few minutes.
Mixed veg soup with udon noodles
- Serve immediately!
- Do not overcook the noodles. If you are worried about overcooking them, put them in an ice bath once they are cooked.
- You can change the veggies used to suit your taste. Add the veggies that take longer to cook first. Do not overcook them.
- For a hit of spice, add some chili oil on the top.
Last year, I had the pleasure of visiting Japan. I have to say it is one of the most beautiful countries in terms of its abundant nature , food options and the warmth of the people. That was also my first exposure to Japanese cuisine, to be more precise, vegetarian Japanese cuisine. Their broth preparations are quite delicious, especially the soy broth. I was waiting for something of that kind to hit Singapore and I happened to chance upon the exclusive Vegetarian set menu additions of Shimbashi Soba situated at Paragon mall in Orchard. I jumped upon seeing this unique offering and I knew I had to pay them a visit. They have some special vegetarian offers for January and February 2015. Generally, Japanese culture pays a lot of emphasis on punctuality, efficiency and warm hospitality. Shimbashi Soba had all those aspects – we were seated on time, promptly served and interacted with a smiling staff who made apt suggestions on the menu. While we were waiting to be seated, I spotted a neat note explaining the difference in the vegetarian menu. This place might also be suitable for some vegans.
Shimbashi Soba food note
It is always a pleasure to taste Japanese teas. I am also a huge fan of the serving vessels they use to serve different preparations. The elegant teapot was a welcome sight. The ‘Soba Cha’ was light, mild and very refreshing.
It is a no-brainer that I had to taste soba in a restaurant which had soba in its name! Their noodles are eggless. This place is popular for its buckwheat soba which is handmade in the restaurant and freshly served. The soba strips are so finely cut that it is mindblowing! Buckwheat is healthy as it is high in antioxidants. Our first order was the ‘Vegetarian Tempura Sairo / Kake Soba’ which was assorted tempura served with soba. The whole set was so pretty. You have an option to select hot soba or cold soba in the set. I was glad my friend suggested that I try cold soba. It is served on a bamboo mat with ice beneath it. I must say it was one of the nicest sobas I have ever tried. To eat it – add the garnish (served alongside) into the tea, take the noodles, dip it in the tea set and then in the plum flavoured salt. You will get all the flavours blending in your mouth with every bite. And if you want the kick, go for the wasabi! Highly recommended.
Teas at Shimbashi Soba
Next, we wanted to try the soy broth preparation since we were also nostalgic about our Japan trip. We went for the ‘Vegetarian Tonyu Nabeyaki Soba’. I loved this dish as well. The broth is rich with hints of soy sauce coming through. The vegetables and mushrooms were well seasoned. The noodles do lose some of the texture they possess when eaten cold. This is more than made up for by the texture of the dish as a whole.
Vegetarian Tempura Sairo / Kake Soba at $19.80
For an unique dining experience, for their amazing soba noodles, for their separate menu with a variety of vegetarian offerings and for the experience of authentic Japanese cuisine, Shimbashi Soba is totally worth a visit. Domo arigato!
Vegetarian Tonyu Nabeyaki Soba at $19.80
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Japanese
|Nearest MRT: Orchard
|Address: #B1-41 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 11.30 am – 10 pm