Let’s face it folks, winter is holding fast here in Michigan. With snow continuing to fly and temps dropping, all I have been craving is soup. First it was chili, then black bean soup and most recently, tomato lentil. Can you tell I’m cold!? Spring, come on already! Dreams of warmer weather alway take me back to my trips to Kauai. My first time visiting the small island was during college on a work trip. I remember trying lots of Hawaiian foods and one in particular, the Saimin Soup Bowl, blew my mind. This dish inspired by the many ethnicities on the island is truly a unique collaboration of cuisines. Since becoming a strict vegetarian, I never thought to make a veggie version of this until I saw Aida Mollenkamp’s recipe.
Here is my simple, vegan version of a Saimin soup bowl adapted from Aida’s.
Get ready to drool.
6 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 oz package of dried shitake mushrooms
1 cup of mushroom water
1 pound of chow mein or udon noodles
1 package of firm tofu, chopped & fried
1/2 bok choy, cut ends
1 bunch broccoli (or broccolini)
handful of chopped green onions
Soak dried shitake mushrooms for about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms and save 1 cup of the mushroom water for the saimin broth. Slice the mushrooms and set aside. Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Lightly cook the broccoli and bok choy until bright green. Blanche the vegetables by using a slotted spoon to take the vegetables out and put into a ice water bath. This stops the cooking process and leaves the vegetables with their bright color. Add the noodles and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a medium pot, saute onions in oil.
Add veggie broth, soy sauce, and mushroom water to pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer until you are ready to make the saimin bowls. Pour the broth into each bowl, top with mushrooms, noodles, tofu, broccoli, and bok choy. Sprinkle with green onions and serve!