Japanese mushroom egg noodle soup

  • 40g dried mixed mushrooms, such as porcini or shitake
  • 10 slices of fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2.5L water
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 450g fresh mixed mushrooms, such shitake caps or cremini, sliced very thin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 65ml medium-dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 225g cooked udon or other Japanese noodles
  • 4 spring onions, green part only, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 25-55g enoki mushrooms, optional
  • Gomashio or sansho pepper, for seasoning
1) In a large saucepan combine the dried mushrooms, ginger and garlic with the water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat, melt the butter. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and cook until crisp and brown, about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and distribute them evenly between four soup bowls.

3) Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let cook until almost soft boiled, three to four minutes. Immediately rinse the eggs with cold water and set aside.

4) Strain the mushroom stock. Return to the pan and heat. Season with the sherry, soy sauce and salt to taste. Divide noodles, enoki mushrooms, if using and spring onions evenly in each soup bowl.

5) Crack a soft-boiled egg into each bowl (to maintain the egg's shape, peel them carefully, or use as small spoon to free them from the shell). Ladle 500ml of hot broth into each bowl. Sprinkle gomashio or shansho pepper over the soup, if desired, and serve immediately.

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