Meatball udon

I wasn’t sure what to make for dinner last night. The only thing I knew is that I wanted something leafy in it. I decided on meatball and veggie udon soup.  It really hit the spot. I made the meatballs quickly but forgot the miso. I love putting miso in meatballs that go in soup because the flavor adds something extra to the soup. The meatballs weren’t bad but they could have been better. The rest was perfect.

In the soup:
fish stock

Chinese cabbage
udon noodles

In the meatballs:
ground pork/beef mix
grated ginger
cooking sake
soy sauce
panko (bread or cracker crubs would work just as well)
grated carrot

 I dropped the uncooked meatballs into gently boiling fish stock and kept at a gentle roll until they were cooked, skimming off the foam once in a while. Then I added the carrot and Chinese cabbage stalks. when they were almost done I added the noodles and Chinese cabbage leaves. Yum.

Slow Cooker Miso Soup with Pork and Udon

It’s finally cooling off here in Japan and I am ecstatic.  Why?  I found a slow cooker at the local second hand shop for 1000yen during the peak of summer and have been dying to try it out.  I have only used it twice so far this year, and like any new toy, it is driving me crazy.  It needs to be used.

I love tonjiru that has been stewed for a long time.  Tonjiru is a pork-based miso soup with lots of root vegetables.  Naturally a tonjiru-like soup should taste great when cooked in the slow cooker.  I was right.

Note: always add the miso right before serving and don’t boil it.

Slow Cooker Miso Soup with Pork and Udon

100g pork cubes Slow cooker miso soup

1 potato

3/4 carrot

5-10cm burdock root

2-3 cabbage leaves (not a usual ingredient in tonjiru)

1 clove garlic

1 small piece ginger

1 tablespoon dashi granules (soup stock)

udon noodles for each person (I like the precooked ones you reheat in boiling water)

miso, to taste

Put all ingredients, except for noodles and miso, in the slow cooker and add enough water to cover the ingredients.  Turn on high and cook for 3-4 hours.  Turn down to low and keep warm until ready to serve.  Add miso to taste.

Cook udon noodles according to package.  Put one serving in each bowl and and spoon soup over until desired amount is reached.  Serve immediately.

Leftovers taste great without noodles as regular miso soup.  You could also thicken it and make miso stew.