Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kamaboko Udon Noodle Soup

This recipe is one of my own concoctions, inspired by a udon bowl I had at a little Japanese steakhouse at the Waterfront in Pittsburgh, PA.  The udon I ate there had shrimp tempura in it, but it also had kamaboko fishcake in it.  This is a hearty noodle bowl with many delicious flavors, and it is very quick and easy to prepare.

photo by Emily
Kamaboko Udon Noodle Soup


1/2 frozen fresh udon noodle block
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 oz pork belly, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 c. good chicken stock
3 medium/small leaves bok choy
2 medium/small leaves napa cabbage
5 - 1/8 in. thick slices kamaboko (see Note)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Shaoxing rice wine

Note: Kamaboko is a Japanese fish cake.  It's usually a semi-circular shaped log, with a white center and a pinkish "rind."  It has a little bit of an odd texture to the uninitiated, but it has a nice subtle fish flavor.

Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and the noodles in a pot.  Cover each with boiling water to reconstitute.  After the noodles have softened and the mushrooms re-hydrated, drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water.  Squeeze the excess liquid from the mushrooms and cut them into strips.

Put the pork belly pieces in a dry pot and saute until the meat is cooked.  Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and rice wine, and bring to a boil.

Chop the bok choy and cabbage into bite sized pieces, then add to the soup along with the kamaboko slices and mushrooms.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes, then serve.

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