Brown rice miso is one of my favourite but any will do. I use the darker misos for broths and the pale ones for marinating chicken or fish. The darker the miso the stronger, and sometimes the saltier tasting it will be, which means it will differ how much to be used in the broth.
Flavours To Add To Miso Broth
Miso and stock are seriously good enough but if you wish to deepen the flavour the following work for me, mirin or Chinese cooking wine, a bit of grated ginger, a touch of soy sauce, chilli.
If you have leftover meat or fish this is pretty much fast food, the best kind of fast food. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions but I tend to like mine done in a shorter time than packets suggest. See below how to cook noodles the traditional Japanese way.
Once cooked to your liking it is important to rinse the noodles in cold water to stop them from further cooking and sticking together. If they are to be used within half an hour or so they will not need oil to keep them separated but longer than that toss teaspoon or two of flavourless oil.
Mushrooms, carrots, leeks, spring onions, chilli, parsley, leftover roast chicken.
In this bowl I used 100% buckwheat noodles.
My favourite noodles for this are ones with buckwheat in them, either mixed with wheat or 100% buckwheat, I like their rougher and chewier texture. My family favourite however are wheat or mixed rice and wheat. It is easy to accommodate both preferences, cook both and everyone is happy.
While bringing the stock to the boil chop vegetables.
Add vegetables to the stock and cook them to your liking.
The best way to add the miso to the stock is to first blend it with a small amount of hot stock until dissolved, then add to rest of the pot.
Once the miso is added to the pot, the idea is not to let the liquid boil as it will destroy the good properties in miso. Keep the pan on low heat and you can add the pre-cooked noodles to the pan to warm through. The way I do it is by adding an individual noodle serving to the bowl and pour the hot stock over it.
The Japanese Way Of Cooking Noodles
The Japanese book A taste of Japan by Lesley Downer, now out of print, will give you instructions as follows: bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the noodles, keep them moving to stop them from sticking; once the water comes back to the boil add a cupful of cold water to bring the temperature down this will stop the water boiling. The reason for this is to bring the temperature on the outside of the noodle to the same temperature as it is on the inside, enabling the noodle to cook evenly. Once the water comes to the boil again add another cup of cold water and repeat a third time if necessary, the noodles should cook in 4-5 mins in total depending on the thickness. Check just like pasta they are ‘al dente’, cooked all the way through but still firm.
- Miso paste – start with 2 tablespoons
- 1.5 litres / 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, if using stock cube make a weak dilution
- Vegetables of your choice, sliced. I had 2 large carrots, 1 leek, half small cabbage, handful button mushrooms
- 500g / Noodles of your choice, cooked
- Meat or vegetarian protein, cooked*
- 3 tablespoons mirin – optional
- 2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger – optional
- 2-3 tablespoons sake – optional
- 2-3 spring onion (scallions), chopped to garnish
- 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped, or pinch chilli flakes – optional
In a large pan bring the stock to the boil, add the chopped vegetables and cooked them to your liking. If adding mirin, ginger, sake, chilli do it at the same time as the vegetables.
Take a spoonful of the hot stock put in a small bowl and add the miso, mash the miso and hot stock together with fork until miso is dissolved, then add this to the pot. Bring the broth just to under simmering point, do not boil. Taste and see if you want a stronger taste of miso and if it has enough salt. Ready to pour over your noodles and serve with your meat. Garnish with spring onions.
Note* If the meat is cold, add it at the last minute to the broth to warm through.