Saimin Soup

Cuisine: Japanese

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Serves: 3

Saimin soup is one of the much-loved classics of Hawaii. It’s a simple recipe made mostly with udon noodles (thick wheat-flour noodles) and a broth bursting with umami flavours.

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Ginger
  • Dashi konbu leaf
  • Salt
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Udon noodles
  • Soy sauce
  • Shrimp
  • Grilled chicken
  • Carrot, eggs
  • Chopped bok choy
  • Green onions

An intense noodle soup you’d love to slurp!

  1. To prepare dashi konbu, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add some dried mushrooms, chopped ginger and a leaf of dashi konbu.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 2 hours. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp MSG. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, boil 4 cups of water with salt over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the Udon noodles and boil till al dente.
  5. Prep the toppings by chopping the onions and bok choy, shredding the carrots, and frying the eggs. Keep aside.
  6.  In a large pot, add the dashi konbu, soy sauce and toppings.
  7. Simmer for a couple of minutes and remove from heat.
  8. Place the cooked Udon noodles in a soup bowl, add the broth mixture and top it off with eggs, bok choy, carrots, grilled chicken, and onions. Enjoy!

Chef Tip: The sky's the limit with the saimin soup. You can try Sichuan pepper or hot mustard with light soy sauce to serve as a dip for the noodle. Some great alternatives for toppings are chive, ham, peas, roast pork, and dried shrimps.

This noodle and broth soup is the equivalent of ramen, the popular Japanese noodle soup. Serve it hot and enjoy it any time of the day.

Quick Bites

Fun Fact

• Some saimin broth is 60 years old! There’s a legendary shop in Japan, where the broth has been simmering stovetop for 60 years!

• In order to eat quickly without burning yourself, slurping simultaneously cools the noodles while jetting them down your throat. So, slurp the saimin!

Historical Fact

• Saimin was born from the so-called “mix plate” culture of Hawaii’s sugar plantations in the late-nineteenth century and draws influence from Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, Portuguese and Filipino cuisine. The story goes that when the plantation workers came together to eat lunch, each of them pulling out home-cooked meals from their respective cuisines, they would trade bits and pieces, mixing flavors and cultures until one day saimin was born.

Nutrition Fact

• The broth is full of flavors and packed with many health benefits that it keeps your immune system on point!

• A bowl of Saimin soup contains 240 calories, 43g carbs, 9g protein, and 3g fat.