Green Tea Broth With Udon Noodles (Mark Bittman)

Total Time
40mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins

From Mark Bittman's cookbook, "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian". With its somewhat savory taste, the resulting soup is elegant in both simplicity and speed; and the list that follows shows the ways to embellish and intensify the flavor. Some are garnishes to serve over the noodles; others are cooked in the broth to give it more character. And some can go either way. Makes 4 first-course or 2 lunch servings

Ingredients Nutrition

  • Broth

  • 14 cup green tea leaves
  • salt
  • 8 ounces udon noodles
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (optional) or 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • Additions to green tea broth with udon

  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes, added to the broth as it simmers (optional)
  • 1 -2 pinch cayenne (optional) or 1 -2 pinch other ground dried chile, added to the broth as it simmers (optional)
  • 12 cup cubed tofu, added to the broth when the noodles are nearly finished cooking (optional)
  • 1 cup precooked small bean, added to the broth when the noodles are nearly finished cooking (like soybeans, adzuki, edamame, or mung) (optional)
  • 4 scrambled eggs, added to the broth when the noodles are nearly finished cooking (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger, added to the broth as it simmers (optional)
  • 2 sheets nori, lightly toasted and cut into 1-inch strips, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, used as a garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (to garnish) (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons nuts, like pistachios, cashews (optional) or 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and used as a garnish (optional)
  • 1 dab wasabi paste (to garnish) (optional)
  • 1 thinly sliced onion, added to the broth as it simmers or as a garnish (optional)
  • 1 handful of julienned cucumber, added to the broth as it simmers or as a garnish (optional)
  • 1 -2 cup shredded lettuce (optional) or 1 -2 cup cabbage, added to the broth as it simmers or as a garnish (optional)
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts, added to the broth as it simmers or as a garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger, added to the broth as it simmers or as a garnish (omit the mirin or sugar) (optional)

Directions

  1. Put 7 cups water in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let rest for a couple minutes. Stir in the tea leaves (or use a tea ball, cheesecloth, or some other mesh contraption), cover, and steep until fragrant and richly colored, 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the “tea broth" through a strainer and put the tea in a large saucepan. Discard the tea leaves.
  2. Bring the tea broth to a boil and sprinkle with salt. Stir in the udon. When the broth returns to a boil, add 2 cups of cold water. When the liquid returns to a boil, turn the heat down so that it bubbles gently without overflowing. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are just tender, usually 5 to 7 minutes, but it could be more depending upon the brand you use. Taste and add more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the mirin or sugar, if you like, and serve.
Most Helpful

5 5

I added in shiitake and cremini mushrooms, miso, the optional mirin, some of the optional sugar and flying horse soya sauce ( I also added a small amount of the feared msg). I think I added some ginger too. I let it simmer then added in frozen udon noodles, green onions, and tofu fried in more mirin. The green tea added the perfect background taste and my miso soup loving fiance was thrilled. I was happy too, thanks!