Miso-Ginger Rice Noodle Soup

This summer, I spent two weeks in Boston, at a PhD residency.  9 of the days were at Lesley University, Porter Campus, which is in Cambridge.  On the first floor of Lesley, there is a corridor with seven or eight Asian restaurants, with every variety you can imagine… sushi, Korean food, Thai food… and… a RAMEN NOODLE SHOP!!!  

I went to the ramen noodle shop twice, and had the same thing both times.  The spicy-miso bowl was absolutely gigantic and delicious.  Both times, it was enough for two meals.  I have attempted to recreate the dish three times, with some success.  

A few tips:
– Make the extra effort to buy fresh noodles, found in the refrigerated section at most Asian markets.  Cook and store the noodles separately from the soup, as noodles will continue to absorb liquid.
– Visit your local Asian grocery store, and take the time to walk around and explore.  Experiment!  Buy a few varieties of greens, and try them in your soup, or in a stir-fry.  

1/4 C. olive oil, or blend of olive oil and sesame oil
3/4 C. green onions, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 of 14-oz. container miso paste (Miso is a bean paste, which comes in a variety of styles, including white, yellow and red.  I used “Mellow Red Hawaiian Style.”)
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
3 carrots, peeled and thinly
2 C. baby bok choy, chopped
1 C. fresh spinach  
1 3.5 oz. package Enoki mushrooms, cut into thirds or so
1 150 gram package White Beech mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 C. Trader Joe’s “Soycutash” frozen vegetable mix, or frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 C. frozen peas
1 14 oz. package firm tofu, cubed
12 C. water
1 16 oz. package fresh noodles (I used Pho noodles)
1 Tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
2 Tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or soy sauce of your choice
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper 

1. Saute green onions and garlic in oil for five minutes over medium-high heat.
2. Add tofu and ginger.  Cook an additional five minutes, covered, over medium heat.
3. Add water, all vegetables, miso paste, black pepper, Sriracha and soy sauce (or Bragg’s).
4. Cook over medium-high heat approximately 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are cooked through.  Taste and stir periodically.
5. Cook noodles separately in boiling water.  Rice noodles only need to be in the boiling water for 5-15 seconds!  Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent noodles from sticking to each other.
6. Serve soup over noodles in big bowl, to allow plenty of room for slurping up noodles!

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