Introduction: Asian-esque Improv (Noodle Soup)
Ever have a bunch of Asian ingredients sitting around from various recipe experiments and are completely disillusioned by recipes you've grabbed off of the internet? You know how it goes, "Oh, that looks like a good recipe." Nope, not at all. If you could find that person you would hold them down and make them open their mouth to make sure that they have a tongue.
So make up something. This is me throwing together a noodley soup.
Step 1: Soup Base
Start with a stock. I found a 5 pound package of pork ribs for $4. Bang! Stock! Use whatever you can find cheap. Chicken, pork, beef, lamb, whatever. You need not make your noodley soup Asian-esque, make it you-esque.
Pick out your flavor enchancers for your stock.
I used: Onions, garlic, ginger, kombu, and dried shiitake mushrooms. Use whatever veggies you like. The basics are carrot, onion, and celery. But basics are boring, so shake it up.
I added oil to my pot, got a little color on the onions, garlic, and ginger.
Added the ribs to color up a bit and drive off some of their water.
Then, funny enough, added water.
Once that came up to a boil I added the kombu and mushrooms and checked for salt.
I added salt.
Turned down the heat to a lazy simmer and let it ride for five hours.
If you want a clear broth, then you're going to have to par boil your meats to get the residual blood out. Then you're going to have to rinse them. It seems like such a waste of water to me. I'm not cooking for the Queen of Stuckupistan here, I just want to eat.
I do strain my stock though. That's what that fancy chinoise (fine mesh strainer) is for.
Step 2: Condiments
Eating a plain broth is . . . unsatisfying. Needs some chunks.
I added some diced up green onions, thin sliced carrot, and rehydrated some of those shiitake mushrooms.
Also I had a boneless pork shoulder that I salted and peppered and cooked five hours at 140F in my cheapo sous vide rig. I didn't get too crazy with the seasoning because I knew only a little would be used for the soup. The rest went back into the sous vide at a higher temp to make a pulled pork for sandwiches.
I diced a shallot up and coated it with flour. Fried it in a little oil to make a lovely crunchy topping.
The noodles I cooked per the package instructions, rinsed them, then set them aside to drain.
Step 3: Putting It Together
I cut up the pork I'd be using into porky stick of yum. I heated up the wok with a combination of safflower, chili oil, and sesame oil, then made fried porky sticks.
I transferred the pork to a plate and added enough broth to the wok for the amount of condiments I'd made up. I heated it up and tossed in the carrots and rehydrated mushrooms. You'll want to check for salt again at this point. Maybe add some red pepper flakes or whatever you like.
While that was heating up I prepared a bowl.
I filled the bowl with a heap of noodles, some of the green onions, and the porky sticks. Once the broth had gotten to a boil I turned it off and ladled it in the bowl.
Step 4: It's Soup
Since I had the sous vide apparatus up and running I poached an egg to add on top of the soup. I broke the yolk open and it was mouthfuls of eggy-porky yum.
I kept some soy sauce at the table as well as a bottle of sriracha. A little dash of each never hurts anything. Except a yellow cake with butter cream frosting. Just don't do it.
Go out and make yourself a you-esque soup with whatever you have on hand. And don't let those leftover ingredients from the ghosts of food experiments past get the better of you.