Japanese Noodle Soup ~ Sopa Japonesa

Recipe by Vegetarian Times, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Vegetarian Times, Photo by Priscillakittycat

New Year’s Eve is fun…until the next morning when your stomach churns and you regret saying yes to the Mexican guest’s offer of a generous shot of tequila, the Brazilian’s offer of cold beer (more than one)…and the compulsory passed around champagne for the countdown and toast.

Laying in bed, I feel thankful for a year of friendship, family, and good health…but also wonder if the night has just ruined my health.  Racing thoughts include:  “Could this burning feeling in the pit of my stomach be a tequila-induced ulcer that will require emergency care?”  Or..”Burp, burp…Is the pain due to a gall bladder that’s about to burst before I can make it to the emergency room for surgery.  Should I get up and look in the mirror to see if my skin is yellow?”

I ignore the monkey mind and reason that a good soup is a sure cure.  “But where will I get the energy to prepare said soup?”  Then I remember that just a few days earlier I made a magnificent Japanese Noodle Soup and there is still some in the fridge.  Oh, so soothing.  Thank goodness I won’t need that emergency surgery.

Done in about five hours this soup can continue to simmer in the slow cooker up to four hours more without turning mushy. The broth just gets richer.

½ head garlic (6 unseparated cloves)
4 green onions, divided
2 5-inch pieces dried kombu or kelp
7 coins sliced fresh ginger (from 2-inch piece)
¼ cup low-sodium tamari sauce
3 Tbs. mirin or sake
2 tsp. sugar, optional
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
4 cups (8 oz.) cooked thin rice noodles or udon noodles, or 2 8-oz. pkg. shirataki noodles, rinsed, drained, and snipped into spaghetti-length pieces
2 cups snow peas and/or thinly sliced napa cabbage
4 tsp. sesame oil for garnish, optional
2 tsp. sesame seeds for garnish, optional

  1. Cut garlic head half through middle to expose centers of cloves. Place garlic in slow cooker. Trim white parts from green onions, and add white parts to slow cooker along with kombu and ginger. Chop green tops of green onions, and set aside.
  2. Add tamari, mirin, sugar (if using), and 8 cups water to slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low 4 to 8 hours. Strain, and discard solids. Return broth to slow cooker, add mushrooms and carrots, cover, and cook 1 hour more, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Divide noodles among four large bowls. Top with snow peas, then ladle broth over top. Garnish with chopped green onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds (if using).

————————————–

O Reveillon é assim:  A gente aceita a primeira bebida da noite, oferecida pelo amigo.  A tequila é de alta qualidade e desce redonda.  Ao mesmo tempo alguem tira uma jêja gelada do freezer e coloca na sua mão.  (Impossível negar uma cerveja gelada).  E por ultimo vem uma taça de champagne das-boa.  Essa é obrigatória para o brinde.  Não da para ser mal educado com os amigos na entrada do ano. Resultado:  uma ressaca das braba.  Ainda bem que existem sopas “cura-ressaca” igual esta Sopa Japonesa.

A sopa fica pronta em 5 horas mas ela pode continuar cozinhando durante mais 4 horas.  O caldo fica mais saboroso.

½ cabeça de alho (6 dentes juntos, com a casca)
4 cebolinhas
2 pedaços de kombu seco ou kelp (alga marinha)
7 moedas de gengibre fresco (de um pedaço de 4 cm)
¼ copo de molho tamari baixo sódio
3 colheres de sopa de mirin ou sake
2 colheres de chá de cogumelos shiitake cortados em fatias finas
3 cenouras grandes, cortadas em tiras finas
4 copos de macarrão de arroz ou macarrão udon cozido
2 copos de ervilha chinesa
4 colheres de chá Óleo de sésamo
2 colheres de chá de sementes de sésamo, opcional

  1. Corte o alho no meio para expor o centro dos dentes, mantendo a cabeça de alho junta. Pique as as partes brancas da cebolinha.  Coloque as partes brancas de cebolinha, o alho, o kombu (alga marinha) e o gengibre numa panela elétrica de cozimento lento.  Pique os pedaços verdes da cebolinha e reserve.
  2. Adicione o tamari, mirin, o açucar, e 8 copos de agua na mesma panela. Cubra e cozinhe no fogo baixo durante 4 horas ou até 8 horas.  Coe e remova os ingredientes solidos.  Devolva o caldo para a panela. Adicione a cenoura picada e os cogumelos, cubra a panela e cozinhe durante mais uma hora ou até as verduras amolecerem.
  3. Divida o macarrão nas tigelas individuais.  Adicione as ervilhas chinesas (já cozidas) e jogue o caldo quente por cima.  Enfeite com as cebolinhas verdes.
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