A brothy bowl of noodles flavored with plenty of ginger, garlic, spices, and brown rice miso.
Bok Choy Soup
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon neutral oil (like sunflower)
1 cup sliced scallions (roughly ¾ of a bunch)
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
¾ pound bok choy, stems cut into small pieces and the leaves shredded and kept separate
4 ounces noodles (ramen, udon, soba)
2 tablespoons brown rice miso
Juice from one lime
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into ¼” cubes
Salt, more miso, or soy sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons neutral oil
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Heat a pot over medium heat. Add the star anise and cinnamon. Toast for about a minute, until the spices are fragrant. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the oil followed by the sliced scallions. Cook until the scallions are tender and stir in the ginger and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slow cook everything together until the onions are soft.
- Add back in the spices along with the broth and water. Bring to a simmer and let cook away for 15 to 20 minutes or so. Add in the bok choy stems and the noodles. Cook until the noodles are just about tender (this will depend on the noodles you use- be tasting every couple of minutes and check the package for general cook time).
- Stir in the tofu followed by the shredded greens and cook until the tofu is hot. Turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon stick/star anise, and add in the miso and lime juice. Taste and adjust the salt/miso/lime juice as desired.
- Finally, make the topping. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the sliced scallions and cook until they are starting to brown and turn crisp. Remember the scallions will continue to cook even off the heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed red peppers and sesame seeds.
- Divide the soup into two bowls and top with the scallion oil.
- As I mentioned in the post for this recipe, salt levels are critical. Pay attention to the salt level in the vegetable broth. Pay attention to the salt taste you add with the miso. And finally, taste a lot at the end and boost salt levels if needed. The salt from the miso and broth brings the flavors together.
- If you don’t have fresh limes, I’d recommend a splash of rice vinegar at the end. The soup needs a hint of acid.
- The brown rice miso brings a nice roundness to the recipe. Darker misos might overpower while the lighter miso gets lost with the ginger, garlic, and spices. If you use lighter miso, you might need to add a touch more. If you use darker miso, start small and add more as desired.
- I forgot to add it this time around but when my mint is plentiful and I top the soup with a bit of mint. It brings a nice fresh aspect to the soup. You could probably use cilantro as well but I’ve not tried that.
Keywords: bok choy soup