This brothy soup was a home run at taste testing. Mushrooms and bacon have always been good friends, and here the nameko's sticky film gives depth and body to the smoky broth (which is inspired by Momofuku chef David Chang's bacon dashi). You can make the broth in advance; it will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
'Shroom subs: For the nameko: enoki, pioppini (though broth will have less body). For the lobster: maitake, fried chicken, shiitake
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)
1. Combine 5 cups water and kombu in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 20 minutes. Discard kombu. Add bacon to broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Skim any fat from the surface; discard fat.
2. Return broth to saucepan; bring to a boil. Add mushrooms; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in bok choy, soy sauce, and vinegar. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.