Another Cabbage Noodle Soup
When you throw together a bunch of random ingredients and make something SOOOOO good you never write it down because it was so simple. You didn't even follow a recipe! Well, you will also never make it again. I speak from experience.
This morning's late breakfast was delicious, light, filling, warm... and I'll never make it again if I don't write it down. So here goes.
a spoonful of pork cracklings and lard (or other cooking oil)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 inch knob of ginger, shredded or chopped
1/4 of a head of cabbage, shredded
4-8 ounces of steak diced into small pieces
a drizzle of sesame oil
2 Tablespoons sake
about a quart of broth
2 bunches of fresh Korean noodles
1 scallion, thinly chopped into rings
chili garlic sauce
chili bamboo shoots
1. Warm the broth and add a little ginger, the scallion, and salt to taste.
2. In a separate sauté pan, heat a generous spoonful of pork cracklings and lard. Once it's hot and bubbly, add the rest of the ginger and all of the garlic. Add the meat, and once it has browned a little, add the cabbage. Season with some salt, and add the sake while the cabbage finishes cooking. Drizzle a little sesame oil over it.
3. Cook the noodles in plenty of fresh boiling water, strain, and rinse. Divide the noodles among the bowls and top with the cabbage mixture. Pour over the hot broth and serve.
4. Season with chili garlic sauce and bamboo shoots.
Beef Noodle Soup
This time of year I always feel like a sore throat is about to come on. I combat this with as much homemade chicken broth as I can stand, and it works wonders. This dinner is perfect because it is warming and balanced. It has just the right proportion of broth, meat, noodles, and vegetables. It was based on an Eating Well recipe from a few years ago.
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 pound ground beef or pork
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 and 3/4 cups of homemade chicken broth, or one quart and 3/4 cup water
3 cups sliced bok choy or broccoli
8 ounces of dried Chinese noodles or 1 pound fresh or 1 pound frozen
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
optional additions: sliced cucumber, cilantro, sriracha, pepper, yuzu ponzu
1. Fry the meat in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and set it aside.
2. Put the broth, water, vegetables, noodles, soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, ginger, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil into a pot and bring it to a boil. Cook it until the noodles are tender. Add the meat back in and garnish with additional scallion, cucumber, or cilantro if you like. Season to taste with salt, pepper, sriracha, or yuzu ponzu.
Summer Noodle Stir-Fry
This is cheap and healthy, and in spite of the dizzying array of vegetables included, somehow my kids still like it. Today this cost me $6 to make and it served four people with leftovers. Every time I make this I think I am going be smart and just throw together a huge batch of sauce to use next time (though I never do). You don't have to peel the bell peppers, but it makes it much easier to digest.
2-3 tablespoons bacon fat or light olive oil
1/2 pound of thinly sliced pork
1/2-1 onion, cut in half and then sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, peeled and then sliced thinly
1 small zucchini cut into matchsticks
1 pound of yaki-soba noodles
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil or just a big squirt
2 tablespoons sake
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
Heat the bacon fat or oil in a wok. When it heats up, add the pork and fry it. When it's almost cooked through, add all the vegetables. I typically overcrowd my pan as you can see in the picture above, so it might take a while to cook the vegetables down. Make sure that the onion really cooks through so you don't end up with big horrible mouthfuls of sharp crunchy raw onion and zucchini. When the vegetables are soft, add in the noodles and pour the sauce over them. Use a pair of chopsticks to wiggle apart the noodles while the steam softens them and they become more pliable, stirring and mixing them into the vegetables. Taste a few noodles to make sure there's enough salt in the dish and make any adjustments you need to. Take it off the heat and mix the basil in.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!