Soba Bowls

Aired February 1, 2012

Serves 4
1/4 cup high-temperature cooking oil, such as safflower or canola
About 1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
About 1/4 pound maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 medium leeks, trimmed and cut into matchsticks, washed and well drained
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 red Fresno chili pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
4 to 6 tablespoons Tamari sauce, to taste
1/4 pound enoki mushrooms, separated
1 package soba or 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti or thin spaghetti
Chopped shiso leaf or cilantro, for garnish
Chopped scallion greens, for garnish

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add shitake and maitake mushrooms. Brown mushrooms until nutty and fragrant then add vegetable matchsticks, ginger, garlic and chili; season lightly with salt and liberally with black pepper. Stir-fry a minute or 2 then add stock and bring soup to a boil. Season with 4-6 tablespoons of Tamari. Add soba or spaghetti and cook to just tender. Stir in enoki.

Using tongs, fill bowls with noodles, mushrooms and vegetables. Ladle broth over top and garnish. Serve with chopsticks and a large spoon for slurping.

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