The 30th of June is looming which rings the bell signalling the end of financial year in Australia which was just the excuse I needed to try my hand at this traditional Japanese New Year soup.
Although usually eaten on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year and lay the path to good luck and fortune, the sudden cold winter snap and a yearning for some hot and healthy soup, was enough for me to indulge in this wonderful tasting, aromatic and nurturing soup.
I have tweaked the ingredients from what would traditionally be in the soup by adding some asparagus, mushrooms and tofu.
Wishing you all a Happy End of Financial Year – be sure to toast it with some Toshikoshi Soba.
Toshikoshi Soba is traditionally eaten in Japan on New Year's Eve to welcome the incoming year and laying a platform for luck to follow - fortunately this soup can be enjoyed all year round but especially when cold weather strikes - it's a wonderfully aromatic, nurturing and winter warming soup with which to indulge.
Ingredients To Make The Broth 1.5L Dashi Stock (Fish Stock)
I used Dashi granules to make the Dashi Stock however, as a vegan option substitute the Dashi with vegetable or mushroom stock.
You can substitute the Dashi (Fish) Stock for Vegetable or Mushroom Stock to make this a vegan dish.
150g Soba Buckwheat Noodles
100g Organic Extra Firm Tofu
Toasted Nori and Chives to Garnish
The Soba Noodles are the shining star of the soup, but adding some tofu, mushrooms and asparagus heightens the flavour and the natural goodness of the soup.
I couldn't decide on the mushrooms to add to the soup, so I mixed it up a little and used Shitake, Shimeji and Wood Ear Fungus.
In a large saucepan make the dashi stock by combining 1.5 litres of water with 8 tablespoons of dashi granules.
Add the mirin to the dashi stock and bring to a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the tamari sauce.
Reduce heat to the lowest setting and continue to gently simmer until the broth is ready to be served.
In a separate saucepan bring water to the boil and then add the soba noodles. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow the noodles to cook for approximately 4-5 minutes.
While noodles are cooking, wash and trim the asparagus spears and cut into halves then slice the mushrooms. Add the prepped asparagus and mushrooms to the broth and cook in the simmering liquid. Use the time it takes to cook the noodles as a timing device to cook the vegetables - they should retain some crispness - be careful not to over cook.
Add the mushrooms and asparagus to the simmering broth so they cook slightly. Use the time it takes to cook the noodles as a timing device as you don't want to over cook the ingredients - they should retain some crispness.
Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water and set aside until ready to serve.
Rinse the soba noodles under cold running water as this will wash the excess starch from the noodles - they will also taste better by doing this.
Scoop the asparagus and mushrooms from the broth and set aside.
Pour the broth into bowls.
Add the noodles.
To serve Toshikoshi, pour the broth into serving bowls and then add the rinsed noodles.
Add the asparagus and mushrooms. Slice the tofu into cubes and add to the Toshikoshi Soba.
Add the asparagus, mushrooms and diced tofu to the noodle broth.
Garnish with sliced chives and toasted nori flakes.
Toshikoshi Soba - a winter warming, aromatic and healthy soup that can be enjoyed all year round.