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Beef broth (Recipe: seven-spice udon noodle soup)

Udon noodle soup

A reassuring thing to know about beef broth:

Store-bought beef broth is pretty good stuff, and that's great to know, because to make your own beef stock, you really have to commit an entire day of your life. Is there a difference between broth and stock? Actually, yes. Broth is made by simmering water with meat and/or vegetables; stock is made by simmering water with bones and vegetables. A really good umami-heavy beef broth starts with bones, browned in the oven along with root vegetables, then simmered for hours and strained and reduced and strained again. The gelatin in the bones gives stock a richer flavor, but in most cases, you can use broth and stock interchangeably. If you're using store-bought, taste before you add salt to the dish.

Cooking or baking?

Unopened cartons of store-bought broth will keep in the pantry until the use-by date marked on the package. Once opened, the broth needs to be refrigerated and will be good for only a few days; for longer storage, pour the leftover into a container with a tight-fitting lid, and freeze for up to six months. Homemade broth always should be refrigerated or frozen.

More about beef broth.

Quick and easy udon noodle soup

Seven-spice udon noodle soup

Soup Chick readers got this recipe last week, but I realized that many of you probably would love this quick-and-easy noodle soup. You'll need to find an Asian grocery for a few of the ingredients, but you'll be so glad you did (and if you stocked up on Japanese seven-spice powder when I shared this recipe for chicken yakitori, now's the time to pull it off the spice rack). This really is a ten-minute meal, hearty and healthy. The fresh noodles cook right in the broth, in just three minutes. Dry noodles will take a few minutes longer to cook. Use a rich mushroom broth to make the soup vegan. Serves 2; can be doubled or tripled.


2 cups beef broth (I use Swanson lower-sodium)
1/2 tsp soy sauce (optional; if your broth is very salty, don't add this)
1 7-oz package of fresh udon (or dry, if fresh noodles aren't available)
3-4 snow peas, trimmed and sliced
1 large clove garlic, thinly slivered
2 large mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, or white), stems removed, sliced
2 tsp thinly sliced scallions
1 tsp Japanese seven-spice powder


Add the broth, soy sauce, udon, snow peas, garlic and mushrooms to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring gently from time to time to separate the noodles.

Remove from heat and ladle into individual bowls, topping each with scallions and seven-spice powder. Be sure to stir in the seven-spice powder so the flavor permeates the broth.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Hot and sour soup
Slow-cooked beef and green chile stew
Zuni corn soup
Three mushroom risotto
Lamb stew with juniper berries

Other recipes that use beef broth:
Beef broth fondue, from Wrightfood
Italian beef sandwiches, from Andrea Meyers
Lentil soup with ground beef and brown rice, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Beef stroganoff, from Chaos in the Kitchen
Basic beef stew, from Food Blogga

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


irresistible! I cant wait to eat dinner tonight. THANKS for the recipe

I tried this last week. It's delicious. Thanks, Soup Chick.

Oh this looks so tasty! I bought some Japanese 7-Spice when we went to the Spice House so I'm set!

Very glad to hear the Soup Chick is all right with store-bought beef broth - I've got 3 cartons in my pantry at this very moment, waiting to go into your French onion recipe! :-)

for us neanderthals that follow your recipes could you one day please explain the different udon noodles available in supermarkets vs,/compared to rice noodles many thanks. I just got back from the store and there sere so many different types my head started to spin. found plain udon, but thought i would ask you for future reference

Was just thinking of doing some last night. The soup looks great.

Un saludo,

This looks delicious and easy too - a perfect mid-week meal. This is my first time to your site (via Trini Gourmet), but not my last!

Milton, I hope you enjoyed the soup! Isn't it fun to explore Asian markets and find all kinds of noodles? Almost any noodle with body will be delicious in this soup.

Rupert, it was good and slurpy, wasn't it?

Kalyn, I bought some then, too, but it's only now that I'm really starting to get addicted to it.

Kathy, the Soup Chick is all for taking a bit of help from the market, especially when making your own really good beef stock takes hours and hours. You could make this soup with chicken stock, too.

Mari, hope you like it.

Sarah, welcome! I love Trini Gourmet and I'm so glad you found your way here from her site.

I never really thought about the difference between broth and stock. I'll save the day and open the can.

soup was very tasty. I love that it took only a few minutes to put together. I had trouble eating the noodles without splashing soup all over the place...LOL I wonder if Tide sponsors these recipes??

TW, that's what I did, too. Though it's very satisfying to make beef stock when I have the time. And bones.

Milton, so glad you liked the soup. The noodles can be a bit slippery!

YUM!!!! and easy! I haven't graduated to 7-spice yet but soon - A trip to Penzey's is called for.

Yummy noodles.

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