This umami rich shiitake mushroom broth is deepened with miso and toasted sesame. It's everything satisfying and savory that we all want from an amazing bowl of soup. Grilled marinated tofu and shiitakes take things over the top with chewy noodles, and fresh baby bok choy.
33 ozpacks ramen-style noodles, or noodles of choice
12-18baby bok choy
1bunch scallions, sliced for serving
1tbsptoasted sesame seeds, for serving
hot sauce of choice, or chili flakes, if desired
For the Ramen:
In a large pot, heat the toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5-8 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds then stream in the water or stock and add in the dried shiitake mushrooms. Put the lid on and turn the heat up to high. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Over a large bowl, carefully strain the soup over a fine mesh sieve. Place the mushrooms, onions etc that you've strained out in a high-speed blender with about a cup or so of the broth. Pour the broth back into the pot.
Add the soy sauce, mirin and miso paste to the blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Pour the blended mixture back into the pot, stir, and turn the heat back on to low, cover and keep warm.
For the Tofu:
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade.
Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes, or in small triangles. For triangles, cut the block of tofu in half down the long part of the block so you have 2 blocks the same size as the original, but half the thickness. Keeping the 2 pieces stacked, cut them in half from top to bottom (along the long side). Then start cutting width wise - i.e. cut the stack in 2. Cut each of those halves in 2. You will now have 16 flat squares. Cut these in half on the diagonal so each square now becomes 2 triangles.
Pour the marinade into a baking baking tray (I used 7x11). Place all of the tofu onto a single layer in the marinade. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, flipping the tofu once. If you're doing this several hours or the day before, keep refrigerated.
Heat a stove top grill pan or a skillet over medium heat. Brush the grills with sesame oil, or if using a skillet, add about a tbsp sesame oil. Once hot, add the tofu pieces in a single layer (keep the marinade.) Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, until heated through and some nice sear lines appear (if using the grill). When the tofu is done, place it on a plate under some foil to keep warm.
Grease the pan with sesame oil, and cook the shiitake mushrooms in a single layer. Cook for for 2-3 minutes, flip them, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
Pour the remaining marinade, half over the tofu and half over the shiitake mushrooms. Toss to coat.
Prepare the noodles according to package directions in a pot that is big enough to also hold the bok choy. Two minutes before the noodles are ready, place the baby bok choy on top of the noodles to briefly cook. Do not stir so they don't become tangled up in the noodles. Drain when the cooking time for the noodles is up.
To serve, ladle some broth into bowls, add noodles and then top with the tofu, shiitakes, baby bok choy, green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy with hot sauce of choice or chili flakes, if desired.