Soba Noodle Soup with Miso Eggplant

This recipe was actually inspired by my neighbor, Naomi! We went for a hike Soba noodles, eggplant, soupyesterday, and got to talking about a new market down the street, Driver’s Market. It’s a family owned market, which carries family-owned products and local produce, yay! If you’re ever in Sausalito, you’ve got to check it out. We got to talking about how nice it is to have such a wonderful market just a few blocks away, and somehow we got to talking about eggplant, which led to talking about miso grilled eggplant. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, which led to a Japanese lunch just down the street, which led to an Asian-inspired dinner.  The weather turned from shorts and t-shirts to why-am-i-wearing-two-jackets (quite literally) in a matter of 6 hours, so a comforting bowl of soup seemed appropriate.

  • 8 oz. soba noodles
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2” piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 lbs. boy choy, ends removed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cups frozen edemame
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped in half
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1” pieces
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Miso glaze:

  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 heaping tbsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 400˚. Combine all the ingredients for the miso glaze in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. In a 9 x 13 roasting pan, pour the glaze over your chopped eggplant and still well to coat all the pieces evenly. Roast until eggplant is tender and beginning to brown, about 20-25 minutes.

While the eggplant roasts, bring about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to medium heat in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Add the minced garlic and stir frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the grated ginger and cook until fragrant, about another minute. Add your boy choy to the pot, stir to mix up the garlic and ginger, cover and allow to steam for about 3-5 minutes. When the leaves of the bok choy are just starting to wilt but the thick part of the stem is still firm, add the vegetable stock and water to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. When the stock reaches a simmer, add your edemame, mushrooms and soba noodles, cover and turn off the burner. The residual heat will cook the noodles. (Note: the noodles I bought only needed to cook for 3 minutes, some brands of noodles need to cook longer. If that is the case, I would cook them for about 1 minute at a simmer and then turn the heat off.)

Add the miso eggplant to your soup and stir. Ladle portions in to bowls, top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Pozole-ish

If you’re reading this, I’m hoping the title of the post piqued your interest, or maybe you thought it was one giant typo. But it’s not.

My poor hubby has a cold, which in man world means that he is near death. He requested soup for dinner, and I immediately though of pozole, which is a traditional Mexican stew. Two of Miguel’s grandparents are from Mexico, and I would have thought pozole was a typo if not for his family.

Traditional pozole is made with pork and hominy. (In case you don’t know, hominy is a type Pozoleof corn, which has a firm texture and nutty taste. It is available in canned form in most major supermarkets.) The broth is made from dried ancho chiles. Traditional forms of pozole take upwards of 5 hours to put together plus a trip to a specialty market for dried chiles, never mind the less-than-lean cuts of pork. So I decided to put my own spin on this comforting stew, hence the name: pozole-ish. Instead of hours, this took 1 hour total from the moment I started prepping the ingredients to when we were sitting down to eat.

Pozole-ish (serves 4)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp adobo sauce (Look for chiles in adobo sauce carried in most major supermakets. Adobo sauce does have a bit ofa bite, so add as much or as little as you’d like.)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 30 oz can of hominy, drained and rinsed

Toppings:

  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped fine
  • 4 tortillas (or store bought tortilla chips)

Preheat the oven to 400˚ for your tortilla chips before you start the stew.

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. When the pan is good and hot, brown the chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes each side. Set the chicken aside on a paper towel lined plate.

Leave the pan on medium-high heat and sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, trying to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add both cans of diced tomatoes and return the chicken breasts to the pan. Cover with the 3 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, cut 4 tortillas in to thin strips, toss with about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and spead out in one layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake the tortillas until starting to brown and cripsy, about 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, you can buy store bought tortilla chips.

Remove the cooked chicken from the pan. Using two forks, shred both chicken breasts. UsePozole one fork to hold the chicken breast in place and use the other to pull the meat apart. Return the shredded chicken to the pan, and add the adobo sauce, bay leaf, oregano, and hominy. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes.

While the stew simmers, prep your toppings. When the stew is done, season with about a teaspoon of salt. Ladle portions of your stew in to bowls, and top with cabbage, avocado, tortilla chips and radish as you’d like.