This broth is epic. You can be eating a freshly prepared and utterly delicious broth in less than ten minutes; it’s that simple. It’s cooked very quickly, keeping some lovely bite in the vegetables. If you fancy a gluten-free or lighter option, simply omit the noodles, and perhaps add extra cabbage; if sliced finely, the cabbage strands resemble noodles when cooked rather nicely.
The ingredients quantities are simply per person here (with the exception of the star anise – only use one, regardless how many portions you’re making).
1 tsp coconut oil
1 small round shallot (or ½ if banana shallot)
1 star anise
small hunk of fresh ginger, finely diced or grated
½ green chili
1 stalk celery
½ small leek
small handful of shredded white cabbage
small handful of raw prawns
300ml hot vegetable stock (or bouillon powder)
½ bunch of buckwheat soba noodles
squeeze of wasabi paste
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp fish sauce
to stir in at the end:
squeeze of lime juice
freshly chopped coriander
Firstly, peel the shallot and chop into thin rings, peel and either very finely chop or grate the ginger, and chop the green chilli.
Heat the coconut oil in a suitably sized pot on a medium heat.
Add the shallot, ginger, chili and star anise to the coconut oil and sauté gently.
While they are softening, chop the celery, leek and cabbage, chucking these into the pot as soon as they are prepped.
Either warm up homemade vegetable stock, or make up good quality powdered stock with boiling water. (If using powdered stock, boil extra water here for cooking the noodles in a second).
Add the hot stock, tamari, fish sauce, and wasabi to the pot, stir well and put the lid on for the broth to simmer for no more than 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, (and with the rest of your recently boiled kettle!), cook the soba noodles for 4 minutes in a separate pot. It is possible to cook these in the broth, - I’ve happily eaten both - but the overall texture will be thicker (and claggier) as starch leaches into the water when cooking.
Drain and rinse the noodles, adding these to the broth, along with the prawns, and a good squeeze of lime. Simmer for only a minute, then turn off the heat and allow the broth to stand for a moment; the residual heat will cook the prawns through gently, preventing them being tough and chewy.
Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkled with freshly chopped coriander. Slurp!