I made it to New Leaf the other day desperate for a new tea infuser after finding mine was stolen from the office break room that morning. This happened to be the day my coworker was returning from a trip to South Florida with a batch of new teas to try from Teavana. Such is my luck. Loose leaf teas, no tea infuser. Up a creek I took my lunch break to visit the neighborhood whole foods store because surely they would have all things tea,such as tea infusers.
Not so much. No tea infusers. Tea, but no tea infuser. I didn't need tea, I needed a tea infuser. Since I couldn't leave the store empty handed after sacrificing my entire lunch break for the trip, I found some miso paste and udon noodles, delicacies that Publix does not carry but that I know I appreciate.
With my exciting new miso and udon noodles, I made this Asian Amazingness dinner. Udon noodle salad and miso soup from Moosewood Cooks at Home Restaurant Cookbook. Since I'm a bit too lazy to post the recipe, I'll give you the gist. And besides, it's better to improvise.
The udon salad is cooked udon noodles mixed with a sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce (~1/3 cup each), peanut butter (~1/4 cup), garlic (~1 tbsp), and fresh basil (~1/4 cup). Mixed into the noodles is cucumber, scallions, and tofu. I loved the cucumber in this and wouldn't have thought to add that on my own.
Next, miso soup. Cook 1 cup sliced carrots in about 5 cups of vegetable stock at boiling for about 10 minutes. Add 1 package of sliced shiitake mushrooms (recipe called for dried, I improvised and bought regular, if you use dried soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes or so). Next add as many greens as you feel like (I added a bunch of red swiss chard, but you could also use bok choy or endive) until it wilts (~5 minutes), then add about 4 tbsp of miso paste (or to taste) and some tofu and reduce heat to simmer - do not boil. Simmer for as long as you're patient for then serve with scallions. That simple, but that good.
Serve next to your favorite glass of red and enjoy!