Soba is a Japanese pasta made with buckwheat and wheat flour. For more heat, add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper instead of 1/4 teaspoon. Although their tough texture makes them undesirable to eat, the shiitake stems are used to flavor the chicken broth, then discarded.
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
9 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (5-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced
1 whole garlic head, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons yellow miso (soybean paste)
1 (14-ounce) package extrafirm tofu, drained and diced
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
How to Make It
Remove stems from mushrooms. Reserve stems. Slice mushroom caps into (1/4-inch) julienne strips; set aside.
Combine stems, broth, ginger, and garlic in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Strain broth through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Add miso to broth, stirring well with a whisk. Add tofu. Cover and keep warm.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms caps and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Add to broth mixture.
Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
Place 2/3 cup noodles into each of 6 shallow bowls; pour 1 1/2 cups hot broth mixture over each serving. Garnish each serving with 1/4 cup cabbage, about 1 1/2 tablespoons carrots, about 1 1/2 tablespoons onions, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.