The weather has snapped, here in Hastings. Suddenly the cold has made its way even inside the house and after this morning’s dog walk, I struggled to get warm. Until lunch I could think of nothing else but a warm comforting broth and udon noodles.
This recipe is a real winter warmer. The sweet, savoury, umami dashi is so rewarding and comforting, and who doesn’t love slurping up udon noodles on a cold day! The sprouts with the citrus are a great pair too. It really did hit the spot!
Most of the rather specialist Japanese ingredients can be found in oriental supermarkets or online from Amazon, so don’t fret if you don’t have them in your cupboard!
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Udon, Bok Choi and Orange Kombu Dashi
For the Brussels Sprouts
- 200 g brussels sprouts (outer leaves removed and halved)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch salt & pepper
For the Orange Kombu Dashi
- 1 l water
- 15 g kombu (dried kelp)
- zest and juice 1/2 an orange (zest should be removed in a few large strips using a vegetable peeler)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp mirin
- For the Veg and Noodles
- 200 g pack of udon noodles
- 2 spring onions (roughly chopped)
- 2 bulbs baby bok choi (separated into individual leaves)
- 100 g silken tofu
- 1/4 tsp schimi togarashi (“eden shake” or toasted sesame seeds (or all three if you like!))
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
To Make the Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat the oven to 180c.
- In a small baking tray, toss the prepared sprouts in the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the sprouts for 20 minutes, turning half way through. They should be lightly browned and crispy when done.
To Make the Orange Kombu Dashi
- In a medium, high sided saucepan, add the cold water. Take the dried kombu and with a pair of scissors make a few 2cm long slits on each side of the sheet of kelp.
- Place the kombu into the water and place over a low heat (the lowest possible). Gradually bring the temperature of the water up until it is steaming and looks as though it’s about to boil (this should take around 20-25 minutes). Do not allow the water to boil just yet. Turn off the heat and remove the kombu from the water with tongs or a spider and set aside (you can freeze used kombu and use again). You now have a pan of dashi.
- Add the orange zest and juice to the dashi along with the soy sauce and mirin. Stir to combine and leave for two minutes.
- After the zest has infused for two minutes, pour the dashi through a fine sieve or a nut milk bag, reserving the liquid but discarding any solids.
To Make the Veg and Noodles
- Bring the pan of strained dashi to a simmer and add the noodles. Simmer for two minutes until the noodles are all separated. Add the spring onions and baby bok choi and simmer for a further two minutes.
- Separate the noodles and vegetables between two bowls. Top up with a few spoons of dashi. Top the noodles with the brussels sprouts. Slice the silken tofu into cubes or, using a melon baller or measuring spoon, into cherry sized balls. Add to the bowls. Top the sprouts with the schimi togarashi and drizzle the sesame oil over the dashi. Serve immediately.