Soba Noodles in Mushroom Broth with Taro and Kabocha Squash

Soba Noodles in Mushroom Broth with Taro and Kabocha Squash
Staff Writer
Soba Noodles in Mushroom Broth with Taro and Kabocha Squash

Antonis Anchilleos

Soba Noodles in Mushroom Broth with Taro and Kabocha Squash

I couldn't wait to dive into this big bowl of nourishment. Japanese soba noodles swim in a savory mushroom broth dense with taro root, daikon, carrot, and kabocha squash. A Japanese market is where you will find: Naga negi, which looks like an oversize green onion (you can substitute a leek); bunashimeji mushrooms are petite, brown button-topped mushrooms sold in clusters (enoki mushrooms can be used in their place); look for precooked soba noodles, in either the frozen foods section or the refrigerator case; you'll find shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend, in the spice aisle.

See all soup recipes.

Click here to see Root Vegetables Don't Have to Be Boring.

Ingredients

  • 10  dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 5  Cups  boiling water
  • 1  Pound  refrigerated or frozen precooked soba noodles (if frozen, do not thaw)
  • 1/2  Cup  light soy sauce
  • 1/3  Cup  mirin
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  granulated sugar
  • 2  Tablespoons  sake or mirin
  • 12  Ounces  small taro roots, trimmed, peeled, rinsed, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 4  Ounces  daikon, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • medium-sized carrot, peeled and cut on a bias into 1/4-inch-thick ovals
  • naga negi, white and light green part only, trimmed and cut on a bias into 1/4-inch-thick ovals
  • 3 1/2  Ounces  bunashimeji mushrooms, trimmed and pulled apart
  • 1  Pound  kabocha squash, seeded, unpeeled, and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • Shichimi togarashi, for serving

Directions

Place the shiitake mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Place a plate on top of the mushrooms to keep them submerged and let soak for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the soba but do not stir until the water has returned to a boil. Use a long wooden spoon or long chopsticks to separate the noodles, and then immediately lift out the noodles with a sieve. Transfer the noodles to the ice water, give them a stir to remove any additional starch, and as soon as they are cool, drain them thoroughly.

Remove the mushrooms from the water, rinse them to remove any grit, blot dry, and cut off and discard the stems. Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Set aside. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the soy sauce and mirin and set aside.

In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the sugar and stir just until the sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add the sake and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits on the pan bottom. 

Add the mushroom liquid, taro, daikon, carrot, naga negi, and bunashimeji mushrooms. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the squash and continue to cook until the squash is fork-tender, 5-7 more minutes.

Divide the noodles evenly among warmed soup bowls. Make sure the soup is piping hot and then ladle it over the noodles in each bowl and serve immediately. Pass the shichimi togarashi at the table.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
26g
37%
Sugar
27g
30%
Saturated Fat
6g
25%
Cholesterol
36mg
12%
Carbohydrate, by difference
79g
61%
Protein
23g
50%
Vitamin A, RAE
374µg
53%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
6mg
8%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
20µg
22%
Calcium, Ca
276mg
28%
Choline, total
78mg
18%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
9g
36%
Folate, total
166µg
42%
Iron, Fe
17mg
94%
Magnesium, Mg
129mg
40%
Manganese, Mn
2mg
100%
Niacin
13mg
93%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
454mg
65%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
34µg
62%
Sodium, Na
2145mg
100%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
511g
19%
Zinc, Zn
3mg
38%

Soba Noodle Shopping Tip

Staples of Asian cuisine such as ginger, daikon, rice vinegar, and spicy chile sauces like Sriracha add bright, fresh flavors without lots of fuss.

Soba Noodle Cooking Tip

Sriracha has good heat but also has flavor - its mild sweetness comes from sun-ripened chile peppers as well as sugar and garlic.