I really like soup. I really like noodles. I really like GREENS. And, I really like tofu. Hence, I was pretty excited to make a broth soup with Udon! Udon noodles are lovely–thick, round noodles that have a firm bite to them–they’re really satisfying.
This soup is fast, easy, and you get protein + veg + starch all at once. You can add more or less spice to taste. I ramp up the chili-paste on mine! Also, the greens are up to you. Baby Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli), which is flavorful and delicious looked good when I was at the grocery store, though you could use tatsoi, baby bok choy (avoid big bok choy–too stemmy), mizuna, or spinach.
Udon with Greens + Tofu
- 18 oz. cooked Udon noodles*
- 1 lb greens, such as Gai Lan, tatsoi, baby bok choy, or spinach
- 1 quart, low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 brick, extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (1-2 tablespoons)
- 1 bunch scallions (green onions), sliced
- 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2-5 tablespoons, ground fresh chili paste or chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian foods aisle)
*Prepared Udon noodles might be difficult to find. I got mine at Costco, but if you can’t find them, you can use 6 oz. uncooked udon noodles (or any thick, round noodle you can find) and cook them yourself according to the package directions.
1. Drain the liquid from the tofu. Then, between two paper towels, press the tofu by putting something heavy like cast-iron on top; change the paper towels 1-2 times (pressing tofu takes ~45 minutes). Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat. Then, slice the tofu into 1/4 inch “steaks.” Place the tofu in the pan and press each piece with a spatula for a few moments (it will squeak!), until golden or dark brown. Then, flip the tofu and repeat. If all the tofu doesn’t fit, do this in batches. Set the tofu aside.
2. In a large pot or wok, add the 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil and heat. Add the greens and cook just until wilted. Then, add the scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and soy sauce and cook for another minute.
3. Add the quart of stock and bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and cook 2-3 minutes or until the noodles are incorporated. Then, stir in the desired amount of chili paste, adjusting to taste. (If you’re not keen on spicy, add a little at a time until it suits you.) Add the tofu and gently stir it in, cooking another 1-2 minutes, letting it absorb some of the broth. Then, serve the soup in bowls, by scoopping noodles, greens, and tofu with tongs and then, using a spoon or ladle, add just enough broth to cover the noodles 2/3 way with a spoon.
Keep warm–and eat more noodle soup!