People have been eating noodles for centuries. As the concept of noodles spread, different cultures added their ingredients. Unleavened stretched dough is made from wheat, rice, buckwheat, mung beans, and even ground acorns. Oriental and European cooks prepared noodles of different shapes.
Whether boiled in salted water, flavored broth, or sautéed, noodles continue to be popular. Indeed, they seem more popular than ever. Grocery stores offer noodles with added vitamins and fiber. You can also find noodles containing vegetables, such as spinach and carrots.
Winter in Minnesota so far has been brutal, with wind chills plunging 45-50 degrees below zero. In this kind of weather, I want to eat soup and make a big batch out of it, freezing it for future use. This week I had a craving for oriental soup and developed this recipe from ingredients at hand.
The noodles are the star of the show and the broth flavor them. You can replace the boneless top blade with a flank steak or a finely chopped scoop steak. Chicken can substitute for beef and you can use chicken broth. I am salt sensitive so I used no salt instant beef broth and light soy sauce. If you are not sensitive to salt, you can use the salty versions of these products.
Freshly grated ginger is better. Peel the skin of the ginger with a spoon. Cut the ginger you need. Put the rest in a zippered bag and freeze it. I keep a jar of chopped ginger on hand and use it when it’s not cool. In the mood for comfort food? Are you a nut of noodles? This recipe satisfies both desires.
1 tablespoon of canola oil
8 ounces top blade steak, cut into strips
5 cups of water
3 packets of instant beef mousse without salt
4 ounces (half a can) button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
1 cup pea pods, halved
1 small carrot, cut into thin pieces
1/2 cup baby spinach
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced (or the equivalent in garlic powder)
Cooked noodles of your choice
1 cup green onions (white and green parts), chopped
Cilantro leaves, chopped
Put oil in a soup kettle. Sauté the beef strips over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Add the water and the remaining ingredients, except for the noodles. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender and crisp. Using tongs, place noodles in each bowl. Pour the soup and vegetable mixture over the noodles. Garnish each serving with chopped onions and cilantro. Skip soy sauce, oriental chili sauce or teriyaki sauce if desired.
Copyright 2014 by Harriet Hodgson