Udon with Sea Scallops in Miso Broth

Serves 4

1 bunch scallions
1 bunch cilantro
8 cups chicken stock
10 peeled ginger slices 1/8 inch thick
4 stalks lemongrass, tender white parts only, chopped
3 kaffir lime leaves, optional
5 tablespoons light miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2/3 lb udon noodles
1 1/3 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
1 lb large sea scallops, sliced in half horizontally
2 tablespoons peeled and julienned fresh ginger
4 lime wedges

1. Julienne 1/2 cup green onions and set aside. Roughly chop the rest.. Pick 1/4 cup cilantro leaves off the stems and set aside. Pick off the rest of the leaves and roughly chop them. In a large saucepan, combine the chopped green onions, cilantro, the chicken stock, ginger, lemongrass and kaffir leaves, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cover. Let simmer 1/2 hour. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the solids and discard the solids. There should be about 7 1/2 cups stock left. Whisk in the miso and soy sauce.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the fresh salad topping and cook the noodles. To make the salad, combine the julienned onions, carrots, bean sprouts, reserved cilantro leaves, and mint leaves in a bowl and toss together.
3. Cook the noodles in a pot of salted boiling water according to directions until tender, but not mushy, about 10 minutes.
4. Divide the noodles among 4 big, deep soup bowls. Divide the raw spinach and sliced scallops among the bowls, placing them ontop of the hot noodles and scallops. Mound the fresh salad in the center of each bowl and garnish with lime wedges. If desired, serve with individual ramekins of soy sauce, sesame oil, and spicy sambal olek.
5. The flavored stock can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat to the boiling point. The fresh salad can be put together a few hours ahead and also stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered.

Udon with Sea Scallops in Miso Broth 

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