In case you hadn’t noticed the weather getting colder, the days getting shorter, and just about everyone on Twitter talking about pumpkins, autumn leaves and all things hygge, October is here!
I spent most of today wandering around Kew Gardens. The weather was bright, but crisp, and we came across this little patch of pumpkins and gourds just as their season is getting into full swing. I love all of their different shapes and sizes and at this time of year I like to have a few dotted around the house as autumn decorations. The uglier or weirder they are the better as they’re more interesting!
What a perfect day to share this recipe for delicious udon in a rich shiitake broth with Autumn vegetables inspired by my travels to Japan around this time of year, but making the most of British seasonal veggies. It’s vegan too as long as you check that you get udon noodles that don’t contain egg as a lot of them do.
This dish is so colourful with the deep green of the savoy cabbage and the oranges and yellows of the sweet potato and squash, and it’s full of flavour too. The shiitake mushrooms give the broth a gorgeous umami flavour, and this for me is pure comfort in a bowl.
- 1/4 small pumpkin or squash cut into inch chunks
- 1/2 long, thin sweet potato cut into thin-ish discs
- 600 ml bouillon or vegetable stock
- 3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp mirin
- 2 savoy cabbage leaves
- Handful fresh mushrooms
- Sprinkle shichimi togarashi (Japanese seasoning)
- Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms by covering with boiling water in a bowl and leaving for at least 30 minutes with a tea towel or a plate over the top.
- Put the pumpkin/squash into a saucepan, pour over hot bouillon to cover and then enough to also cover the potatoes once they are added. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a pan of water for the udon and cook according to the packet instructions. Remember to drain and rinse in cold water once cooked to stop them sticking together.
- While the udon are cooking, drain the shiitake mushrooms, reserving the water. Put 1 cup of the shiitake mushroom water into a saucepan with 1 cup vegetable stock/bouillon. Add the soy sauce and mirin.
- Bring the broth to a simmer and add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the savoy cabbage and cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Then you’re ready to assemble! In a noodle bowl, put some udon in the bottom, top with the autumn veg and pour over the shiitake broth. Then sprinkle over some shichimi togarashi to finish.