Sweet and sour soup with swimming noodles

Sweet and sour soup with swimming noodles

Feel Good Food
Chris Chen

This has to be one of my all-time favourite soups – it’s simple to make, yet is a complete meal in a pot. If you like, substitute fresh Chinese rice noodles for the udon noodles, or prawns instead of the tofu. As it is, though, it will create a soul-soothing meal that will nourish your insides. Serve it piping hot in winter, or at room temperature on a warm day.


Quantity Ingredient
3cm piece of kombu, soaked in water for 30 minutes, then cut into 3 mm strips
1 onion, finely sliced into half moons
3 cm knob ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
1 teaspoon dark roasted sesame oil
100g firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
1/2 carrot, cut into matchsticks
200g fresh udon noodles
8 snow peas, cut into 3 long strips
2 tablespoons spring onions, diagonally sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger juice, (see note)

Sweet and sour sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1/3 cup shoyu
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or barley malt


  1. Bring 4 cups water, the kombu strips, onion and ginger to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil in frying pan over medium heat and sauté the tofu cubes for 3–5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the tofu to the vegetable broth with the carrot and noodles and simmer for 2–3 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet and sour sauce ingredients to the pan with the snow peas and simmer for a further 2–3 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with spring onion, sesame seeds and drizzle with ginger juice.


  • Grate a 1 cm knob of ginger, place in a muslin cloth (cheesecloth) and squeeze out the juice.
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