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September 2012 Issue
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Udon noodles in vegetarian broth

Everyone loves winter comfort food; the sort of warm, tasty stodge that stokes the burners for another day out in the Antarctic wind. At some point (often when you can no longer fit into your favourite tramping pants) you begin to crave something a little lighter. When that moment dawns on you, try this.

Serves: Light dinner for two
Weight: 900g
Volume: 0.5l
Kilojoules: 2500
Cost: $10.60
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Fuel: 200ml* white spirit or 75g camping gas
*Based on an MSR Whisperlite burning white spirit at sea level.

2 packets udon noodles
1 handful dried and diced shitake mushrooms
2 spring onions
1 packet tofu – cubed
1 handful mung bean sprouts (optional)
2 Soy sauce sachets*
2 tbsp dashi soup stock
1 tsp Japanese seven spice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
*Next time you’re at the sushi bar, ask for a couple of extras.

Soak the shitake mushrooms in warm water for about 10 minutes to rehydrate. While that’s happening, cook the udon noodles in boiling water for two minutes, then drain and set aside.

Dry the pot and then bring the oil up to temperature, then add the cubed tofu. Fry until golden brown. Add the dashi soup stock, sugar, 200ml water and the shitake mushrooms. Simmer until almost all the dashi has evaporated (usually about five minutes).

Add three tablespoons of dashi soup stock, a tablespoon of salt, a sachet of soy sauce and gently heat (don’t boil). Finally, add the udon noodles, sprouts, spring onions, divide into bowls and sprinkle with a little Japanese seven spice and serve.

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