I've stopped going to my favorite Japanese Hot Pot place in San Francisco (Shabu House) because I discovered they use MSG in their broth. And I found out in the most distressing way.
Me: This hot pot is especially salty today. Do you think they use MSG?
Friend: No- of course not- I wouldn't come here if they used MSG.
Me: Excuse me (to waitress)- is there MSG in this?
Waitress: (nods fervently)
I mean this place is delicious enough to keep me going there, but something about opting in to MSG didn't feel right to me.
Side Note: Shabu House, if you ever consider using MSG-free spicy miso broths, please contact me personally.
I set out on a mission to create a similar broth without MSG. If you've tried spicy miso broth, you know that the flavor is spicy and tangy, which is a hard flavor to replicate without a salty substance, like MSG.
Wildbrine Japanese Miso & Horseradish has been catching my eye. It's fermented miso and kimchi snack that is in the vegan/gluten-free section of the chilled food aisles.
This Recipe is:
Vegetarian (but can easily be made non veg)
Can be made vegan (don't add the egg)
Inspired by Grandma's Rainy Day Kimchi Noodle Soup
- Wildbrine Japanese Miso & Horeradish
- Udon noodles/ Shirataki Noodles if you're feeling spunky
- At least 1/2 package of mushrooms
- Get Crimini/Baby Bellas if you're at a non-Asian supermarket
- If you're at an Asian supermarket, get all the mushrooms: Shittake, Enoki, Wood Ear!
- 2 Green Onions
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or Tamari)
- 1 egg (not necessary)
- Other fun veggies (have fun with it): Bok Choy, Spinach, Carrots, Tofu etc.
- Vegetable oil
- 4 Cloves of Garlic
- Rice Vinegar
- Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to pot.
- Add 4 cloves of minced garlic and saute until browned. (NOT burnt)
- Add 2 tsp of ginger and 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar.
- Add 2 cups of Wildbrine Kimchi and stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Add 3 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp ginger, and mushrooms. Let boil for 7 minutes.
- Drain Shirataki Noodles and add to soup and crack an egg on top. Let the soup come back to a boil.
- Add in leafy veggies (like Spinach, Bok Choy). Let boil for 2 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and Sriracha to taste.
- Top with chopped up green onion.
Wildbrine is an easy way to add the tangy kimchi flavor to a soup. Shirataki noodles are in no way a perfect substitute for Udon noodles, but they are low calorie and have a nice chewy bite to them.
Shirataki Noodles - Would I buy them again? Yes.
Wildbrine - Would I buy this again? Yes.
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