Japanese-Italian fusion is a thing!! Which is really something I ought to have realised years ago, because I went to Japan with my parents when I was just 9 and woefully unadventurous and all I ate was spaghetti from a restaurant called Prontos. I then proceeded to discount that memory for the next 20 years, and it wasn't until I bought my most recently acquired FAVOURITE RECIPE BOOK EVER (Japaneasy, by Tim Anderson), that I flipped through its pages and saw a recipe for Japanese Carbonara.
It's a RIDICULOUS idea, isn't it?! Saucy cheesy noodley seaweed! Who dreamed it up?? How did such a genius concoction ever emerge from the ether?
However it may have originated, it's freaky perfection and I love it. I decided to make a vegan version so that everyone can enjoy the delicious insanity of Japanitaliano! I also used soba noodles instead of regular pasta, and they turned out slurpy and good.
(makes 1 serve)
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes, then squeezed out to remove the excess water
1 serve of udon noodles (90g)
3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp nutritional yeast
2 sheets of dried tofu (Nori), finely chopped into slivers
1 tsp Tamari
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Extra Nori, sesame seeds and (if you can find it) Togarashi seasoning
This is a pretty ridiculously easy recipe...
Put all ingredients in a frying pan (get one that's deep enough so there's no risk of the sauce bubbling over)
Cook gently on low-moderate heat, until the noodles have cooked through, and the sauce has thickened. This won't take very long, 5-10 minutes.
Serve in a big bowl, with extra slivers of Nori, sesame seeds and a sprinkling of Togarashi seasoning on top.