I received a few questions after the microbiome piece about what constitutes “fermented foods”. In short, fermented foods have been partially broken down by micro-organisms such as yeast and bacteria. They tend to be tasty and aromatic. One of the most familiar fermented foods is miso, and instant miso soup is is one of the few instant, “just add water” products that I buy. (Kombucha, kimchi, tempeh, beer, cider and, luckily for me, wine are also fermented.)
Today’s recipe is a fine example of a microbiome friendly meal which is also vegetarian. (Vegan if you go for vegan noodles instead of egg noodles). And to make it even better you can serve it with a gut-microbiome-diversity-encouraging glass of white wine.Ingredients for 2:
2 handfuls green beans (about 20 beans).
6 broccoli stems
1/2 onion – sliced
1 red pepper – seeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic – chopped finely
Thumb-sized piece of ginger root – chopped finely
1 small red chilli – chopped finely
2 nests of fine egg noodles
1 sachet instant dark miso soup (I used an organic brand with added tofu and ginger)
Soy sauce to taste
1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
What to do, roughly speaking:
Wash and trim the beans and broccoli and cook them for about 6 minutes in 500 ml water. Remove the veg from the water with a slotted spoon, set aside and keep the veg water to cook the noodles and miso soup (this adds a little more flavour to the broth).
In a frying pan, heat the combined olive and sesame oil. Fry the onions and sliced red pepper for a few minutes until the onions begin to brown. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Turn the heat down a bit and fry for 2 or 3 minutes more. Add a splash of soy sauce and fry for another minute. Add the cooked beans and broccoli. Stir fry this mix for about 5 minutes until it’s all heated through.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles in the vegetable water for 4 or 5 minutes (according to the instructions on the packet) and for the last minute add the miso soup. Stir well
To serve: place the stir fry veg into the bowl you’re eating from, lift the noodles out of the broth with a pasta serving spoon (see pic) and then pour the miso soup over everything.