Tofu is perfect in this one-pot meal with steaming, swimming noodles, shiitake mushrooms and crisp snow peas.
4 cups water
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight in 1 cup of water, sliced finely and left in soaking liquid
4cm piece kombu, soaked for 1 hour and finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, cut into fine half moons
1/2 tsp ginger, sliced finely
1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
light vegetable oil
1/2 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
200g fresh udon noodles
1 cup snow peas, each cut into 3 long strips
2 tbsp green onions, finely sliced diagonally
1 tsp ginger juice, grated and squeezed
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Sweet and sour sauce
4 tbsp shoyu
2 tbsp umeboshi vinegar
1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
4 tbsp brown rice syrup or barley malt
To make a vegetable broth, place the water, along with the shiitake soaking water, kombu, onions and ginger into a pot and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, dust the tofu cubes with the arrowroot and deep-fry in the oil.
Drop the tofu cubes into a bowl of warm water to remove any oil. Squeeze out any moisture and set aside.
Add the carrots, noodles and tofu cubes to the vegetable broth and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
To make the sweet and sour sauce, combine all the ingredients and add to the vegetable broth to simmer for a further 2 minutes.
Place the soup into bowls and top with snow peas, green onions, a generous splash of ginger juice and toasted sesame seeds.
Serve warm during the cooler months, or chilled during summer.