Saturday, March 1, 2008

More Noodle Soup

The title says it all...I've been busy lately so noodle soup allows me to throw together dinner in under 20 minutes. This meat topping is a derivative of this recipe and, as I mentioned in the old post, you can flavor this recipe as you please. For this version, I used some doubanjiang, cinnamon and star anise. I would also like to share that in addition to writing this post, I am also playing some online poker. I have just moved up to a higher limit game and am getting absolutely killed. Those $0.05/$0.10 players are ruthless!

Ingredients, the ramekin on the left is filled with chili powder, the ramekin in the lower right contains the doubanjiang:
Dried shiitake mushrooms, 7 or 8:
Soak 'em in water:
Grind the whole, dried chiles. I used 7 or 8 Sichuan "Facing-Heaven" chiles. You can use whatever chiles you want or just use pre-ground:
Dice an onion:
Make the ground meat mixture. 1 pound pork, two tablespoons of soy sauce, two tablespoons of Shaoshing rice wine, a couple heavy shakes of white pepper, a few pinches of salt and 3-4 teaspoons of corn starch. Chinese cooking aficionados will note that the quantity of seasoning seems a bit much...this just reflects my personal preference: Mix it with your hands. It should be slightly sticky..if it seems too loose, add a bit more corn starch:Stem the mushrooms and slice:
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a piece of star anise:
Saute the onion:
Add the meat and mushrooms:
If you, like me, have a weak stove, it may be difficult to brown this large quantity of meat but do your the very least, cook it so all the meat changes color.
Add 3 tablespoons of doubanjiang and the ground chili powder. Stir it all up:
Add water or broth to cover. Bring to a boil and drop to a simmer:
Cook for 15 minutes and you're done! You should end up with an intensely flavored meat mixture. It will be an angry shade of red. Adjust the seasoning with salt, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. It shouldn't be soupy but if it is, just cook it longer so more of the water evaporates.
For the noodle soup.
Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil. When I say well salted, I mean it...The water should taste SALTY. Add baby bok choy. Cook for 1-2 minutes:
Ladle out the bok choy and drain:
Add noodles to the boiling water and cook as per the instructions.
While the noodles are cooking, cut up a few green onions and add them to the bottom of your noodle soup bowl. Add a smidge of sesame oil:
Heat up your broth. I've been using pork bouillon cubes. They're actually quite tasty. To the broth, add a quarter cup of the meat mixture.

Drain the noodles and add them to the soup bowl:
Nestle the boiled greens to one side:
Pour the broth over...I poached a few peeled, de-veined shrimp in the broth:For the above bowl, I garnished with extra green onion and Thai basil.
For this bowl, Chinese zhacai, fried shallots and cilantro.
Noodle soup is so ridiculously inexpensive I don't feel like food costing it out. No shrimp, it's probably around a buck a bowl. The shrimp probably double the cost. Either way, it's incredibly filling and incredibly cheap.

Meat will take about a half hour to make.

Here's a link to a text-only version of this post.

Here's the LOLCat of the post:
Oh, and I got ABUSED on the poker table...ended the session down about $2.25. Rough stuff.

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