Improvised miso soup

I went out this afternoon during CJ’s nap to do a little spectral sequence wrangling in a local coffee shop. On the way, I was happily surprised to find that my local Asian grocery, Lee’s Oriental, was open on Easter Sunday. So I bought a couple of bags of stuff and made the following off-the-cuff soup, which I record here for future reference:

Saute about half a big head of napa cabbage, a bunch of enoki mushrooms, and 6 cloves garlic in the bottom of the soup pot. Pour a gallon of water on top of it and bring to boil. Stir in about 1/4 c miso (I was using Korean miso, which the shopkeeper — Lee himself? — warned me was very strong; usual miso recipes seem to want more miso per unit of water.) Then add 2 lb soba noodles (I used Sukina brand “Japanese vermicelli”) and boil for about 7 minutes. Three minutes before the end of cooking, add a big handful of bean sprouts (about a cup) and a bunch of scallions, coarsely chopped. One minute before the end of cooking, crack three eggs in the soup and stir furiously until scrambled.

At table, the soup can be garnished with pieces of deep-fried tofu (more precisely: ajitsuke inari age) and sesame oil.

Remarks: The bean sprouts and enoki mushrooms were probably unnecessary; neither really asserted themselves in the final soup. I might have used less soba; it absorbs a lot of soup, so that by the time we were done with dinner, the leftovers were really no longer a soup with noodles, but a noodle dish with a thick glutinous sauce. But it will probably be easier for CJ to eat this way. Soup, per se, remains a challenge for him.

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