Instant Pot Miso Ginger Udon Noodle Soup

This savory comforting broth paired with noodles, vegetables, and tofu makes a perfect one pot meal. Cook it up in the Instant Pot for dinner in 30 minutes or less! 

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The last thing I needed in my kitchen was another gadget. But, curiosity (and a little FOMO) got the best of me, and when there was too-good-to-pass-up sale on Cyber Monday, I ordered the Instant Pot. If you haven't heard of the Instant Pot yet, it's essentially a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, egg cooker, and rice cooker all in one. It also has a sauté function and the option to make soup/broth. I've even seen people make bread in this thing! 

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I have to admit that it hasn't been all smooth sailing with this appliance. It's not as intuitive as it seems (as noted by this article that I should have read before I used it). If you're new to the Instant Pot, don't do what I did and take it out of the box at 6pm on a Monday night with expectations that dinner will be on the table in the less than 30 minutes the recipe calls for. Give yourself a little time to get to know your new appliance. Once I learned a few of its idiosyncrasies (like the fact that it can take up to 20 minutes "preheat" before it actually pressure cooks) and got over the fear of blowing up my kitchen with a pressure cooker when releasing the steam), I understood what all the fuss was about. This thing is kind of magical. It cuts the cooking time of many recipes in half (or more!) without sacrificing flavor or texture. I've made several soups and stews, beef tacos that tasted like they'd been slow cooking all day, 3-minute sticky noodles, and chicken marsala. 

And now this soup.

(If you don't have an Instant Pot, stay with me. I have stovetop directions below too.) 

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There are a few things I love about this soup: 

  • It's a balanced meal all in one bowl. One pot + one bowl = very few dishes and more time for things like catching up on This is Us.

  • Umami. Miso + shiitake mushrooms...need I say more?

  • It's full of immune-boosting nutrients. With flu season still kickin' hard, I'll take all I can get.

  • It's warm and comforting, but leaves you feeling energized, not fatigued and weighed down like some of the more indulgent "comfort" food out there. We are in the midst of a very grey, dreary, cold streak in Boston, so I'm craving all the warm and cozy things.

  • It's ready in just under 30 minutes. And I'm not talking the "30-minute meals" that only take that amount of time if you have everything chopped and prepped ahead of time. This is 30 minutes from the time you open your refrigerator to when you can serve the soup.

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Now to address the elephant in the room: tofu. If you're new to tofu, don't shy away. The challenge with tofu is it's super bland on its own and often not given the love it deserves. But when prepared well, like in a flavorful broth, it completes the dish. And if you're concerned about the healthfulness of soy, don't be. Whole soy foods like tofu and edamame have been linked to better health and decreased risk of chronic diseases including some cancers

And if that's not enough to convince you, take a cue from my meat loving husband who hadn't eaten a bite of tofu before we met (and put up a bit of a stink when I tried to serve it the first time) and now requests it on the regular. 

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Instant Pot Miso and Ginger Udon Noodle Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated with a microplane or very finely minced
  • 4 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 ounces of white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small head of kale, chopped
  • 8 cups miso ginger broth (I get it at Trader Joe's, but have seen it at a few other markets)
  • 1 small stalk of lemongrass
  • 6 ounces of udon noodles (or buckwheat soba noodles for gf option)
  • 1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, pressed to remove excess water and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Optional toppings: sliced green onion, sriracha or other hot sauce
Instructions
Instant pot directions: Turn on sauté function and set to 10 minutes. Add oil and onion to pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute, until fragrant. Add mushrooms and kale and sauté for remaining 7 minutes. Add broth, lemongrass, noodles, tofu, and red pepper, if using. Put top on instant pot and set to pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. Release steam as per Instant Pot instructions. Remove lemongrass and top with optional toppings. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Stovetop instructions: Heat large pot over medium heat. Add oil and onion to pot and saute for 1-2 minutes until onion begins to soften. Add garlic and ginger and saute for another minute, until fragrant. Add mushrooms and kale and saute for about 7 minutes, until soft. Add broth, lemongrass, and red pepper, if using. Cover and bring to a boil. Add noodles and tofu and cook until noodles are soft, about 7-10 minutes. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------How to press the tofu: Either use a tofu press or place tofu between two plates and put a heavy book (I use a big cookbook) on the top of the top plate and let sit for at least 10 minutes, up to 30. Drain excess water. Notes on storing leftovers: The noodles will soak up much of the broth when storing leftovers in fridge. When reheating, just add a little water or additional broth (I've used vegetable broth and it works just fine if you don't have any more of the miso ginger broth).
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings
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