Ultimate Guide to Misonikomi Noodles Recipe: A Nagoya Delight

Imagine tucking into a steaming bowl of misonikomi noodles, a hearty dish that hails from the heart of Nagoya, Japan. This isn’t just any noodle soup; it’s a rich, umami-packed broth made with red miso, giving it a unique depth of flavor that’s both comforting and invigorating. Perfect for chilly days or when you’re craving something that feels like a warm hug in a bowl.

Misonikomi noodles are distinguished by their robust miso base, typically simmered with chicken, negi (Japanese leeks), mushrooms, and a dash of sake for an extra layer of flavor. The chewy udon noodles soak up all the delicious broth, making every bite a delightful experience. Whether you’re a seasoned noodle enthusiast or just looking to expand your culinary horizons, this dish promises to satisfy your soul and leave you craving more.

Ingredients

Let’s gather the ingredients for your Misonikomi noodles, ensuring each component contributes to an authentic, flavorful dish.

Main Ingredients

  • 400 grams of udon noodles, fresh or frozen
  • 200 grams chicken thigh, skinless and boneless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium-sized Japanese leek (negi), diagonally sliced
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, fresh and sliced

Broth Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small piece of kombu (dried kelp), about 10 cm

Serving

  • Chopped green onions, for serving
  • Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice blend), for serving
  • A few drops of chili oil, for added heat (optional)

Required Tools and Equipment

To craft the perfect bowl of misonikomi noodles, you need the right tools and equipment. This section outlines everything necessary to efficiently prepare this traditional dish, following from the ingredient list you’ve already gathered.

Large Pot or Dutch Oven

Start with a large pot or a Dutch oven. You’ll need something that can hold a generous amount of liquid since misonikomi noodles are served in a rich broth. This tool will be essential for simmering your ingredients and allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.

Ladle

A ladle is crucial for stirring the ingredients in the pot and eventually serving the broth. Choose one with a deep bowl to make scooping and pouring the broth easy, ensuring a perfect mix of ingredients in each serving.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Precision matters in cooking, and misonikomi noodles are no exception. Measuring cups and spoons will help you follow the recipe accurately, ensuring the right balance of flavors. This is especially important for the miso paste and sake, which define the dish’s distinct taste.

Knife and Cutting Board

A sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board are required for prepping ingredients. You’ll need to slice the chicken, mushrooms, and leeks. Ensuring they’re cut into uniform pieces not only enhances the dish’s presentation but also ensures even cooking.

Skimmer Spoon

Consider using a skimmer spoon to remove any impurities that rise to the surface of your broth. This tool will help you maintain the clarity and quality of the broth, keeping it appetizing and appealing.

Heat-Resistant Serving Bowls

Finally, have heat-resistant serving bowls ready to serve the misonikomi noodles hot. The dish is best enjoyed when it’s steamy, enhancing its aromatic allure.

With these tools at your disposal, you’re all set to start cooking misonikomi noodles. Each piece of equipment plays a pivotal role in bringing out the flavors and textures that make this dish a beloved classic in Nagoya cuisine.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing misonikomi noodles ahead of time can be a great way to save time and enhance the flavors of this traditional Nagoya dish. By following these make-ahead instructions, you can enjoy a rich and robust meal with minimal effort during mealtime.

Broth Preparation

  1. Cook the Broth: Start by preparing the robust miso broth a day in advance. In your large pot or Dutch oven, combine the red miso paste, chicken stock, sake, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully.
  2. Cool and Store: After the broth has simmered, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then transfer it into an airtight container and refrigerate it overnight. This resting period helps deepen the umami flavor of the miso and melds the various components together.

Ingredient Prep

  1. Chicken and Vegetables: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the leeks and mushrooms as directed in the ingredient list. Place these ingredients in separate containers and store them in the refrigerator.
  2. Udon Noodles: If you’re using fresh udon noodles, these are best prepared fresh. However, for dried udon noodles, you can parboil them for about two minutes less than the package directions suggest. Drain, then cool under cold water, and toss with a teaspoon of oil to prevent sticking. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Finishing and Serving

  1. Reheating the Broth: When ready to serve, reheat the miso broth on the stove over medium heat until it is steaming hot.
  2. Cooking Chicken and Vegetables: Add the pre-cut chicken and vegetables to the hot broth. Let them cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are tender.
  3. Final Preparation: Finally, add the pre-cooked udon noodles to the pot just long enough to warm through.

Preparing parts of your misonikomi noodles dish in advance, you ensure a flavorful and comforting meal ready in less time, perfect for a relaxing dinner.

Preparation Steps

Now that your ingredients are ready and your kitchen tools are set, let’s dive into the cooking process. Follow these steps carefully to ensure your misonikomi noodles are flavorful and authentically prepared.

Preparing the Broth

  1. Start by placing your large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to heat slightly.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and sauté them until they start to brown, which usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Pour in 6 cups of water along with the pre-measured red miso paste. Stir the mixture well to ensure the miso fully dissolves and integrates with the water.
  4. Slice the leek into half-inch thick rounds and add them to the pot. Follow with the sliced mushrooms.
  5. For depth of flavor, pour in a splash of sake and a dash of sugar — stir well.
  6. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Your broth should become richly aromatic and take on a vibrant reddish hue.

Preparing the Noodles

  1. In a separate pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Place the udon noodles in the boiling water and stir gently to ensure they do not stick together.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, usually about 8 to 10 minutes, until they are chewy and tender.
  4. Once cooked, drain the noodles in a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch.

Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Wash all your vegetables under cold running water to remove any dirt or impurities.
  2. Peel the skin off the carrot and daikon radish, then slice them into thin disks about a quarter-inch thick.
  3. For the green onions, trim off the root ends and finely chop them into small rounds.
  4. Keep these vegetables separated on your cutting board, so they’re ready to be added to the broth or used as garnish when serving.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you’re familiar with the ingredients and prep work for misonikomi noodles, let’s get cooking! Follow these steps to create a pot of warm, flavorful noodles that promise to delight your senses.

Cooking the Broth

Start by heating a large pot over medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and let it heat slightly. Then, add the chicken pieces to the pot, browning them on all sides for about 5 minutes. Once the chicken is nicely browned, reduce the heat to low.

Stir in your sliced leeks and mushrooms, cooking them until they soften and begin to release their flavors, about 3 minutes. Pour in the sake, letting it simmer gently to reduce slightly and enhance the flavors of your broth.

Next, dissolve the miso paste in a small amount of broth or water to ensure it integrates smoothly without clumps. Add this miso mixture to the pot along with 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. If you like a sweeter touch to balance the savory miso, a tablespoon of sugar can be mixed in now.

Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld beautifully.

Adding the Noodles and Vegetables

While your broth simmers, take another pot to cook your udon noodles. Bring water to a boil, add the udon, and cook according to the package instructions until they are just tender—usually about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

After your broth has simmered for 20 minutes, it’s time to add the vegetables. Toss in sliced carrots and daikon radish into the broth, cooking them until they’re tender but still hold their shape, approximately 10 minutes. Then, gently add your cooked udon noodles to the broth, allowing them to warm for a couple of minutes.

Final Seasoning

Give the broth a final taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Perhaps a little more miso or a pinch of salt might be required depending on your taste preferences.

For a burst of freshness and a pop of color, scatter chopped green onions over the top of the dish. If you enjoy a bit of spice, a drizzle of chili oil can be a great addition.

At this point, your misonikomi noodles are ready to be served. Ladle the broth, vegetables, and noodles into bowls, ensuring a good mix of all elements for the perfect bite. Enjoy the warmth and richness of your homemade misonikomi noodles, a comforting dish that’s sure to satisfy.

Assembly

Now that your broth is rich in flavor and the noodles are perfectly cooked, it’s time to bring everything together for serving.

Arranging in Bowls

Start by placing a generous portion of the cooked udon noodles into each serving bowl. Ladle the hot, aromatic broth over the noodles, ensuring that the chicken pieces, leeks, mushrooms, and other vegetables are distributed evenly among the bowls. The steamy broth should just cover the noodles, soaking them with the delicious flavors of the miso and seasonings. Arrange each component thoughtfully to create an appetizing presentation.

Serving Suggestions

After you’ve artfully assembled your misonikomi noodles, it’s time to think about how best to serve them to enhance their rich flavor and appeal. Whether you’re enjoying this dish solo or presenting it to guests, these suggestions will help elevate your dining experience.

Individual Servings

For a personal touch, serve the misonikomi noodles in individual bowls. This not only allows each person to enjoy their own portion but also makes it easier to customize the toppings according to personal preferences. Add a few slices of kamaboko (steamed fish cake) on top for a pop of color and a hint of sweetness which contrasts beautifully with the savory broth.

Accompaniments

Pair the noodles with side dishes that complement the robust flavors of the miso broth. A small plate of tsukemono (Japanese pickles) offers a refreshing counterpoint to the hearty soup, while a side of rice can be great for those who prefer some extra starch with their meal.

Toppings

Encourage your diners to tailor their bowl to their tastes with a variety of toppings. Provide small dishes of finely chopped green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, or even a few drops of chili oil for those who enjoy a bit of heat. This interactive element makes dining not just about nourishment but also about personalization and fun.

Beverage Pairing

To fully appreciate the depth of flavors in misonikomi noodles, pair the dish with a beverage that complements its robustness. A cup of hot green tea can cleanse the palate between bites, while a chilled glass of sake could enhance the umami of the miso.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got the hang of making misonikomi noodles, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Remember that the beauty of this dish lies in its versatility. Feel free to tweak the broth or play around with the toppings until you find your perfect match. Whether you’re cozying up on a chilly evening or looking for a comforting meal any day, this dish is sure to impress. So go ahead, gather your ingredients, and enjoy the rich flavors of Nagoya right from your kitchen. Happy cooking!

Related Posts:

Leave a Comment