Japanese Noodle & Shiitake Soup

January/February 1995, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)

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This Asian soup is fragrant with fresh ginger; shiitake mushrooms, spinach and soba noodles make it satisfying.

Japanese Noodle & Shiitake Soup

Makes: 8 servings, about 1 1/4 cups each

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  • 8 ounces dried soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, slivered (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sake, or mirin (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons miso, (see Note)
  • 1 cup packed spinach leaves, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated daikon radish, (see Note)


  1. Bring at least 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Slowly add soba. When water returns to a boil, add 1/2 cup cold water. Repeat steps of returning water to a boil and adding cold water 2 or 3 times, until the noodles are just tender. (It will take 5 to 7 minutes total.) Drain and rinse with cold water, working your fingers through the strands to separate them. Set aside.
  2. Combine broth and ginger in the large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add mushrooms and simmer for 8 minutes. Add sake (or mirin), soy sauce (or tamari) and vinegar.
  3. Whisk a ladleful of the broth with miso in a small bowl to dissolve it; return the mixture to the pot, along with spinach. Simmer for 2 minutes more and remove from the heat. Divide the noodles among soup bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Garnish with scallions and daikon.

Tips & Notes

  • Notes: Mirin is a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine essential in Japanese cooking. Look for it in your supermarket with the Asian or gourmet ingredients.
  • Miso is fermented bean paste made from barley, rice or soy-beans. It is available in different colors; in general, the lighter the color, the more mild the flavor. Look for miso alongside the refrigerated tofu in the market. It will keep, in the refrigerator, for more than a year.
  • Daikon is a long, white radish; it can be found in Asian groceries and most natural-foods stores. Commercially prepared pickled daikon radish can be found in Asian markets.


Per serving: 150 calories; 1 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 1 g fiber; 685 mg sodium; 150 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable

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