Bring vegetable broth to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with anise, fennel, cloves, pepper, chilies and soy.
Sauté mushrooms, ginkgo, and garlic in butter until golden brown and add to the soup along with the leek flowers. Simmer 5 minutes, then add chopped cilantro. Ladle into warm bowls and top with a fried quail egg.
Good stir-fry demands a proper, seasoned wok. Properly cared for, this $15 wood-handled carbon steel model will last for years.
Cilantro, white miso, ginger, chili pepper, chives, scallions, red bell pepper, garlic, tofu, shiitake mushrooms, fresh udon noodles, sirloin steak, plum vinegar, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar and soy sauce.
While preparing the vegetables, marinate the steak in a non-reactive container with soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegars for about 20 minutes.
Heat the oil (I’m using a high-heat tea oil made for this purpose) until it shimmers. Test its readiness by dropping a small piece of beef onto the sloped side- it should sizzle and brown immediately.
Add the meat to the hot oil, drawing it up the sides and around the perimeter of the wok. Let sizzle undisturbed until the pan recovers all its heat. Add the vegetables to the center of the pan and stir to combine.
Continue to cook by drawing the meat and vegetables up the side of the pan. Add a few tablespoons of the marinade to the pan and quickly heat the tofu, udon noodles, miso and cilantro. Stir to combine.
Serve with additional soy sauce, hot chili sauce and sake, if desired.