Why is it that food served in a bowl just makes you feel all warm and happy? Think about it. Soup, stew, cereal, and creamy, saucy pot pies – they’re all just perfect comfort in a bowl. Even foods that don’t have to be served in a bowl seem to make you feel happy when you eat them from a bowl. Yes, mac and cheese, and saucy pasta, I’m talking about you. I’ve been craving some bowl food lately. Something not quite soup, not quite pasta, but still slurpy. The kind of meal you need both a fork and a spoon to eat.
This bowl recipe is full of lots of umami deliciousness. What’s that you might be asking? Umami (pronounced oo-mommy) is known as the 5th flavor or taste. We all know about sweet, salty, bitter and sour, but you know how sometimes there’s that flavor that you just can’t categorize? Like in Parmesan cheese, or wild mushrooms, or even in certain meats. Yep, that’s umami. It gets its pleasant, savory flavor from glutamate, an amino acid that occurs naturally in many foods.
Mushrooms and miso paste (made from fermented soybeans) are major sources of umami flavor, and they’re perfect in this slurpy bowl of deliciousness. This is a really quick and easy Meatless Monday dinner that’s pure flavorful comfort food in a bowl. I kept the focus on the mushrooms, but feel free to add some extra veggies. I think bok choy and shredded carrots would be lovely.
- 1/4 cup of dried wild mushrooms soaked in 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 large clove of garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
- 32 ounces low sodium vegetable or beef broth
- 1 tablespoon miso paste mixed with 1 cup hot water
- 1 6-8 ounce package firm baked teriyaki tofu
- 3 ounces of dried soba noodles
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Soak wild mushrooms in hot water for at least 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain mushrooms through a coffee filter, reserving liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any remaining sandy grit. Chop mushrooms.
- In a stock pot of dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat, and add wild mushrooms, Baby Bellas, onion, garlic and ginger. Salute until mushrooms have given up their liquid and onions are softened - about 5 minutes.
- Add mushroom broth, vegetable or beef broth, and miso-water mixture and stir well. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Cut tofu into 1-inch pieces and add to the soup.
- Add soba noodles, and cook until noodles are softened.
- Add parsley, and taste and adjust seasoning by adding additional miso, 1 teaspoon at a time.
What’s your favorite bowl food? Do you ever cook with miso?