Udon for Lunch

My default lunch lately is a big steaming bowl of soup with udon noodles. Mmm. I have a whole set of supplies for preparing lunch at the office in the microwave.

Basically, I keep packages of noodles in the fridge or freezer. You can buy them frozen or even supposedly fresh at any good oriental grocer. If they're frozen I have to remember to take them out when I get to work in the morning so they'll be usable by lunch time. These are loads better than dried noodles you have to boil. Jumbo udon are thick (like 1/4 inch) and chewy.

The noodles almost always come with little packets of instant broth, that I typically never use. I have a bottle of concentrated soup base in the fridge. This can be difficult to find.

To turn this into a meal I keep dried or canned things in my desk or fresh ingredients in the fridge. Dried shiitake mushrooms, freeze-dried tofu, and dried wakame seaweed are a good kit. In the fridge I've had fish sausage, pickled daikon, and sansai mountain vegetables. I tried some frozen, fried fish patties last week and they were interesting. yesterday I opened a can of mixed "oriental vegetables" and that was good, though a bit heavy on the bamboo shoots.

Anyway, at lunch time I pour a couple of tablespoons of soup base into a bowl, add whatever dried or fresh ingredients I want, put the noodles in on top, and then fill with water from the tap. The bowl goes into the microwave and six to seven minutes later I have a yummy lunch.

Last time I was in Young's grocery on Forward, I saw that in the aisle where they have mostly packaged, dried ramen, they also had instant udon. These weren't dried, I guess they're just packed aseptically because they seemed soft in there. Some time I'll have to try a pack (79 cents) and see if they're wretched.

2007.10.01 at 12:00am EDT