Kombu Broth Bowl
Kombu is commonly known as seaweed, and is a type of kelp used in many East Asian dishes. Well known for its “umami” taste which means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese, this wonder ingredient with a savoury flavour is power packed with nutritional health benefits. Popular in broths, sauces and salads it contains iodine which plays an important role in promoting thyroid health. Along with essential vitamins A,C,K&B and minerals such as iron and calcium it’s no surprise that this plant based source is often referred to as “a treasure of the sea” by some researchers.
Try out this delicious immune boosting Kombu Broth Bowl by creative cook and plant based advocate Mira Weiner, it's just perfect as winter approaches.
400g organic non-gmo firm tofu, cut into blocks
250g noodles of choice - ( brown rice, millet or soba noodles)
2L vegetable broth (shop bought or see below recipe for a homemade version)
1 piece of kombu, approx. 4-cm (omit if using homemade broth recipe below)
2 large carrots, sliced
4 baby bok choi, sliced in half length-ways
6 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
A handful of shimeji mushrooms (approx. ½ cup)
Spring onions, sliced
Dried chilli flakes
Method for broth bowl
- Prep the vegetables and tofu first. Cook the broth and noodles in 2 separate pots – you can add the noodles to the same pot as the broth but Mira likes to cook them separately so the broth liquid doesn’t go starchy or cloudy.
- Heat the broth over medium heat until boiling. Add the kombu (only if using store-bought stock) and the carrots, cook for 5 minutes.
- Cook your noodles according to packet instructions in a separate pot now. Once cooked, rinse the noodles with cold water in a strainer so they don’t stick together.
- Add the mushrooms and tofu to the broth, cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sliced bak choi to the broth and cook for 5 minutes. Test that the vegetables are cooked through.
- Divide the noodles into 4 serving bowls, ladle the vegetables, tofu and hot broth liquid into the bowls. Serve with sliced spring onions and dried chilli flakes.
Homemade broth recipe
Makes 2 litres
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 min-1 hour
1 piece of kombu, approx. 4-5cm
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 radishes, sliced
4 turnips, chopped
3 stalks of celery including the leaves, chopped
15g dried shiitake mushrooms
2L filtered water
3 large cloves or 5 small cloves garlic, chopped
5cm piece of ginger, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (I like to use organic cold-pressed coconut oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Method for broth
- In a jug or pot, add the dried mushrooms and pour over 1 litre of boiling water. Let this sit while you start on the stock.
- In a large pot, heat the coconut oil on medium heat and once hot add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the leeks, carrots, celery, radishes and turnips. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the vegetables don’t burn and scraping all the bits at the bottom, this is where you will get the delicious flavour from. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add the bay leaves, kombu and the dried mushroom mix including the liquid to the pot. Also add the remaining 1 litre of boiling water to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil on high heat and then once boiling reduce to a simmer on low heat. Stir through and leave to cook for 30-45 minutes. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavour so if you have the time let it cook for just over an hour. Once cooked, taste the liquid and adjust the seasoning if necessary, you can add the tamari in now too for extra saltiness and umami flavours.
- Strain the liquid and reserve the stock for the broth bowl. The mushrooms from the stock can still be used, they’re great sliced and added to stir fries or curries. If you are making the stock to use for the broth bowl immediately, you can use some of the mushrooms in the broth bowl too. The stock can also be stored in the fridge for a few days and used for risottos, curries, sauces, marinades and even to cook grains in – delicious to cook rice, quinoa, polenta or millet in this stock.
For more healthy, informative, plant based delicious recipes from Mira vist www.miraweiner.com
Photography by Samantha Lowe (Instagram-@createcontentwithus)
Food styling by Christi Wasserman (Instagram-@hello_happiest)