Our spinach was a bit bruised when we got it, just enough that I felt more comfortable cooking with it than eating it. But what to serve it with? Luckily last Friday I decided to make my saimin-udon soup mashup and thought of a fabulous soup I’ve made in the past that includes dark leafy greens so I grabbed the spinach too.
Every time I make this dish it is a little bit different and definitely not traditional saimin as far as I know – the inclusion of Spike insures that, and this version wasn’t the ultimate version (for me that includes a couple pieces of that half-moon shaped pressed fish cake with the crazy red-dyed border and hard boiled egg and tofu and veggies) but it was pretty decent. The version shown on Aloha-Hawaii is drool worthy and their description as “a great opportunity to clear the fridge of leftovers” makes me think I may be following tradition in my own way (and I do usually make it with ramen style noodles). Whether or not I can call this saimin it is definitely inspired by my memories of saimin.
I managed to get a lot of spinach in here, at least two cereal bowls full of chopped spinach (which filled most of my salad spinner unchopped). I also fear my description of seasoning the soup is sorely lacking. I know my version doesn’t taste much like a bowl of saimin would, but I’m coming up blank describing what I do and how it tastes. I’m sorry. Just think of noodle soups you might have had in any number of restaurants-of-asian-persuasion and take it from there.
Spinach Udon Noodle Soup
- 1 package udon (the “single” serve variety), I prefer the mushroom or chicken flavor packet
- 1 chunk fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole (or cut in half)
- seasoning packet
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thickish matchsticks
- 1 bowlful of spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- green onions, sliced sort of thinly
- soy sauce
- toasted sesame oil
- chile garlic sauce (or other spicy sauce)
Fill a small pan with the appropriate amount of water (more or less, I think I stopped measuring for this dish like 15 years ago). Add the ginger and garlic and bring the water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook just long enough for them to loosen up and add the carrot. Cook for a minute or two and add a bit of the flavor packet (but not all of it) and a spoonful of spike and a dash of soy sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you wish it to be.; check the carrots to make sure they are tender. Add the spinach in handfuls and stir to get it to wilt, add the green onions. When the spinach is bright green and wilted serve it. I now I added a spoonful of chile-garlic sauce to my bowl and I might have added another dash soy sauce or a drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil.