Sunday, March 25, 2012

Speed lunch - a race against time

I was talking to my sister on Skype the other day while she whipped up and ate a quick bowl of pasta before heading back to work (what a multi-tasker!) I mentioned that many of my lunches are made and eaten at this speed when trying to do a hundred things while at least one small boy is sleeping - clean the house, express the milk, sterilise the bottles, watch the Fashion Police etc etc. I realised there are probably a lot of people who try to do these 10-minute healthy meals for a variety of reasons (not just making time to watch Joan Rivers bitch about celebrities' lack of taste) and are probably as sick as I am of toasted sandwiches and tuna salads.

One of my recent discoveries has been how fast you can knock up a Japanese miso udon soup using only cupboard ingredients and this is one of my favourite ever lunches. As with some other recent recipes, I'm not sure that this one is a winner with kids as it's pretty messy eating but potentially worth a try as udon noodles seem to be pretty popular in our household in other recipes. This recipe is for one but can easily be increased to serve more noting that this makes a seriously large bowlful of noodle soup.

Eleanor's Miso Udon Soup

1 small packet vacuum packed udon noodles (approx 200 grams)
1 tablespoon white miso paste
500 mls water
1/2 teaspoon of dashi granules (optional)
1 tablespoon dried wakame or arame seaweed

Put seaweed in some warm water for a few minutes until hydrated then drain. Put 500mls water, miso paste and dashi granules in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until the miso paste has dissolved. Add udon noodles and boil for around three minutes. Add seaweed and serve.

If you want to make a heartier and lunch add some silken tofu and vegetables at the end. I often throw in a few snow peas and some spring onions but any greens would work.

Serves one

* All of these ingredients are available at our local supermarket but you may need to try an Asian grocer. The miso paste and dashi granules can seem a bit expensive but they last forever and mean that you can make this soup whenever you like.

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