Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho Chay)
6 cups (1422 g) water
6x4 in. (12 g) piece of kombu
6 dried (22 g) shiitake mushrooms
2 whole anise stars
2 whole cloves
1 in. piece ginger cut lengthwise
1 medium onion, sliced (110 g)
1 lb (454 g) fresh vegetables: carrots, pak choi, yu choi, nappa cabbage and scallions
1/2 teaspoon salt (1163 mg sodium)
1/4 cup (64 g) soy sauce (3040 mg sodium)
2 seitan steaks, sliced (320 g)
Rice noodles, cooked
Optional condiments: fresh basil, fresh cilantro, lime wedges and bean sprouts
1) Soak the kombu and mushrooms in the water for at least 3 hours. Remove the mushrooms; slice them and add them back to the pot. Heat the water; when its almost boiling remove the kombu and discard.
2) Place the anise and cloves in a tea infuser. Add the: tea infuser, ginger and onions to the broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, lightly steam the vegetables in a large sauce pan. Use a small amount of the broth for liquid. Salt the vegetables.
4) When the broth has finishe'd remove the ginger and tea infuser. Add the soy sauce and seitan. Turn off burner.
5) Place noodles in individual bowls. Top with vegetables and add hot broth. Soup should be eaten hot; if it isn't hot enough heat it with a microwave.
6) Add condiments if desired.