Quick, Easy and Seasonal: Try This Udon Bowl with Salmon and Spring Vegetables

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If there’s anything better than a Farmer’s Market to stimulate me to get into the kitchen and create a fresh, seasonal recipe, I can’t think what it would be. Warm weather and long sunny days have already descended on the Bay Area, and with that comes an abundance of early-season produce.  This morning I found leeks, garden peas, fava beans, green onions and shiitake mushrooms, all of which figure in this light, yet comforting udon noodle recipe. At my local Asian supermarket I picked up a package of fresh udon noodles. Using these precooked noodles makes an already easy dish go together even faster, and I find these noodles to be thicker and more succulent than noodles cooked from dry.  A caution: often these noodles come with a favoring packet full of weird ingredients–just toss it away! Start with a well-seasoned stock, and you’ll end up with a hearty, satisfying lunch or dinner. I’ve added only a little soy sauce, there’s no ginger or garlic or spice or oil, so the favor of the fresh vegetables, salmon and noodles really shines. And I think you’ll appreciate that this recipe requires only one pot, and comes together in under 30 minutes.  Happy Spring!  (Full recipe after the jump)

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Oodles of Noodles: Warm Up With This Hearty Miso Udon Soup

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We’re finally getting what we’ve needed for months here in Northern California, a dose of stormy, wet weather. The hills are turning fresh and spring green, at last. With drizzle coming down outside, I decided to warm up my insides with a bowl of udon noodles and vegetables in a rich miso broth. Although I usually recommend whole grain noodles (brown rice, whole wheat, buckwheat), I must confess that sometimes the allure of fat, wheaty udon calls to me. I especially like fresh udon noodles, because not only do they save time, but they seem to drink in the broth and become more succulent than dried noodles do. Of course, if you can’t find fresh udon noodles in your Asian or natural foods market, dried will do, as will linquine. In either case, you will need to take the extra step of cooking them separately according to package directions. I think you’ll love that this recipe begins like a stir fry, and then after water is added, becomes soup.  You could have this on the table in 20 minutes, and you need dirty only one pot: your trusty wok. If you live alone, as I do, I’ve scaled this recipe for you.  I ate a little more than half for dinner, and just finished off the rest for lunch. Perfect. It’s still raining outside and inside, I’m feeling warm and cosy. Recipe, after the jump.

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