Friday, October 25, 2013

Asian Noodle Soup

Open fridge, start grabbing things. That's how this soup came to be.

Earlier in the week I bought some Napa cabbage and bok choy with the intention of making a stir fry but I never got around to it. So when I opened my fridge on Sunday morning and saw them in the veggie bin, I used them as my inspiration for this soup.

I have built up a pretty good amount of Asian cooking ingredients - I now have a full door shelf in my fridge dedicated to various things like soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin, sriracha, rice vinegar, mirin, and minced ginger. Because I always associate Asian flavors with bok choy, I grabbed almost every bottle from that shelf when making this soup.
The final product reminded me a lot of the soups my dad and sister talked about after their trip to Vietnam, and I think it was because I used both lime juice and cilantro at the end giving it a bright and fresh flavor.
I kept this vegetarian (except for the broth), but you could definitely add some shredded chicken to it for some protein.

Asian Noodle Soup

(note - amounts are approximate)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, sliced
  • 2-3 stalks of bok choy, sliced (don't use the very top greens or very bottom white parts)
  • 6 c low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version) 
  • Soy sauce - approximately 2 tbsp
  • 2-3 quick shakes of rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • Large handful cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions
  • 6 oz Asian noodles of your choice
  • Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat
  • Add the garlic and ginger; sauté 1 min
  • Add the carrots and sauté another minute
  • Add the cabbage and bok choy and stir gently until it is starting to wilt
  • Add the broth, soy sauce, and rice vinegar; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cook your noodles (I like to cook them separately so they don't soak up too much of the soup's liquid; that way you can add as many or as few noodles to your soup as you'd like, or you can just put them in the pot when they are done cooking)
  • Before serving, add lime juice and cilantro to the soup. Add noodles and top with the green onions.
  • Note: when I ate mine, I added just a squirt of Sriracha sauce for some heat.


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