Kombu Broth Bowl
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
A nourishing and nutrient packed comforting broth bowl filled with delicious umami flavours.
Kombu is an edible kelp that is widely eaten throughout East Asia. It’s basically a seaweed, kind of like a sea vegetable that is packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The best part is that seaweeds are highly nutritious, so a little piece goes a long way. Kombu has incredible nutritional benefits including reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure, supporting thyroid functioning, assisting gut health and digestion as well as improving blood sugar control. Kombu is also rich in antioxidants, iodine, calcium and iron as well as Vitamins A, C and E. My personal favourite benefit of using kombu is that it contains the highest amount of iodine of all the seaweeds and iodine is vitally important for a well-balanced diet but also to combat radiation, something we are all exposed to on a daily basis living in a modern world filled with technology. As an entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time on my laptop and using technology for work so I like to make sure that I include iodine-rich foods in my diet. Iodine is always best consumed as a nutrient occurring naturally in nature versus as a chemical additive.
For as long as I can remember, my mom and I have been making our own little versions of miso soups with vegetables, noodles and tofu. It is our go-to meal when we aren’t feeling well (our little Jewish vegan version of chicken soup haha) when we are in need of something nourishing and hydrating or even for a quick mid-week meal. I’ve always loved bowl-style meals, so when the Buddha bowl and smoothie bowl trends hit, it was right up my alley. There’s just something magical about holding a bowl of nourishing, wholesome and delicious food, a little hug in a bowl to soothe your mind, body and spirit. This version seems a bit long with the cooking time, if you purchase a ready-made broth or stock then it is much quicker and literally takes 15 minutes, but I like to make my own broth and build those flavours.
Let’s cook ☺
400g organic non-GMO firm tofu, cut into blocks
250g noodles of choice - I like to use brown rice, millet or soba noodles
2L vegetable broth (shop-bought or see below recipe for a homemade version)
1 piece of kombu, approx. 4-cm (omit if using homemade broth recipe below)
2 large carrots, sliced
4 baby bok choi, sliced in half length-ways
6 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
A handful of shimeji mushrooms (approx. ½ cup)
Spring onions, sliced
Dried chilli flakes
Prep the vegetables and tofu first. You’re going to cook the broth and noodles in 2 separate pots – you can add the noodles to the same pot as the broth but I like to cook them separately so the broth liquid doesn’t go starchy or cloudy.
Heat the broth over medium heat until boiling. Add the kombu (only if using store-bought stock) and the carrots, cook for 5 minutes.
Cook your noodles according to packet instructions in a separate pot now. Once cooked, I like to rinse the noodles with cold water in a strainer so they don’t stick together.
Add the mushrooms and tofu to the broth, cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sliced bak choi to the broth and cook for 5 minutes. Test that the vegetables are cooked through.
Divide the noodles into 4 serving bowls, ladle the vegetables, tofu and hot broth liquid into the bowls. Serve with sliced spring onions and dried chilli flakes. Enjoy!
Makes 2 litres
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 min-1 hour
Homemade broth recipe:
1 piece of kombu, approx. 4-5cm
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 radishes, sliced
4 turnips, chopped
3 stalks of celery including the leaves, chopped
15g dried shiitake mushrooms
2L filtered water
3 large cloves or 5 small cloves garlic, chopped
5cm piece of ginger, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (I like to use organic cold-pressed coconut oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
Homemade broth recipe:
In a jug or pot, add the dried mushrooms and pour over 1 litre of boiling water. Let this sit while you start on the stock.
In a large pot, heat the coconut oil on medium heat and once hot add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the leeks, carrots, celery, radishes and turnips. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the vegetables don’t burn and scraping all the bits at the bottom, this is where you will get the delicious flavour from. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Add the bay leaves, kombu and the dried mushroom mix including the liquid to the pot. Also add the remaining 1 litre of boiling water to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil on high heat and then once boiling reduce to a simmer on low heat. Stir through and leave to cook for 30-45 minutes. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavour so if you have the time let it cook for just over an hour. Once cooked, taste the liquid and adjust the seasoning if necessary, you can add the tamari in now too for extra saltiness and umami flavours.
Strain the liquid and reserve the stock for the broth bowl. The mushrooms from the stock can still be used, they’re great sliced and added to stir-fries or curries. If you are making the stock to use for the broth bowl immediately, you can use some of the mushrooms in the broth bowl too. The stock can also be stored in the fridge for a few days and used for risottos, curries, sauces, marinades and even to cook grains in – delicious to cook rice, quinoa, polenta or millet in this stock.
Special thanks to photographer, Samantha Lowe, and food-stylist, Christi Wasserman.