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Friday, February 10th, 2012

Nirvana Day Recipe: Miso Udon Soup


Nirvana Day, also called Parinirvana Day, is celebrated throughout the Mahayanan Buddhist world. While celebrations (and even the date the holiday is celebrated) differ depending on their locale, the universal premise of the holiday is to commemorate the day when Buddha reached full nirvana, or bliss, through death. Buddhists celebrate death as a form of change, rather than mourn it. Because the day is a time for simple reflection, typical Nirvana Day recipes are uncomplicated, vegetarian fare. The below recipe is one typically enjoyed by Japanese Buddhists.

1 pound fresh udon noodles (Can be found in the refrigerator section of many markets. Dry may be substituted.)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso
Optional toppings: 5 sheets roast seaweed snack, torn into pieces; 1 piece firm tofu, cubed; and/or 1 scallion, sliced thinly

1. Boil noodles in 2 quarts water until tender, 7-9 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Serve in soup bowls.


© 2012, Lauren Capitani. All rights reserved.

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Lauren Capitani was an early foodie. While her friends were busy watching Family Ties , she was tuned into Graham Kerr and Yan Can Cook, and served her friends and family dishes such as beef wellington and baked alaska while still a teen. After college, Lauren received Masters' degrees in both journalism and business and worked in both subsequent fields. At 29, she decided to rewrite her life and became an assistant teacher. For the first time, her vocation became her avocation. She now has certification in both both elementary and early childhood education and has taught at seven schools on both coasts (and in between). Lauren has lived summers in France, England, Spain, Japan, and Thailand, and has visited more than a dozen other countries. When her own children start limiting their food choices, Lauren turned it into a teaching moment and created One World Whisk, a global cooking initiative for children. The project garnered more than 200 followers before its one-month charter was complete.

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