Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

So, I’m completely addicted to this soup. With summer around the corner, I’m getting a little worried. I’m not a huge fan of soup in the summer, but there’s something about this one. I think I can actually see myself eating it year-round.

The plan was to post my version of Bok Choy and Mushroom Soup, which I typically make with rice noodles. One visit to the Cured by Bacon blog and I’m realising how much better my soup can be. First the chili oil…then a Kaffir lime leaf…by the time I hit poached egg I was done for. I had already planned to substitute the rice noodles for udon so reading his post was perfect timing.

Udon 1

Note: I couldn’t find the lime leaf so I used the zest of one lime instead. It still infused the lime flavour nicely.

Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Mushrooms
Adapted from Cured by Bacon

Ingredients

  • 3 oz udon noodles
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup of bok choy, sliced thick
  • 1 lime, zest and sliced into wedges
  • ½ cup sliced button mushrooms
  • ½ cup sliced shitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 cube of fresh ginger (peeled 1″ square piece)
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce

Directions

In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the sesame oil up to a shimmer on medium high heat. Toss in cube of ginger, and the two cloves of crushed (but still whole) garlic.
After cooking for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, pour in the soy sauce, fish sauce and throw in the lime zest. Stir for another minute.

Udon and Mushroom Soup

Next, toss in the mushrooms and bok choy and coat them thoroughly in the garlic oil. Sauté until softened about 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Once brought to a simmer, place in the package of udon noodles and cook thoroughly at a low boil for approximately 10 minutes, or until noodles are fully cooked and slippery. Turn of the heat and portion out into your bowl(s), being careful not to include the garlic or ginger.

Top each bowl of udon noodle soup with a pinch of chopped cilantro, a teaspoon or more of chili oil (to taste) and one poached egg.

Poached Egg
From Cured by Bacon

This was my first ever poached egg! She wasn’t too pretty but I’m still proud that I managed to keep the fragile egg intact until I placed it over my soup noodles.

Poached Egg3

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Directions

In a 2 quart saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a simmer. Stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Crack an egg into a bowl, once assured that the yolk has not broken and that no shells have dropped in, gently slide the raw egg into the slightly simmering water.

There will be excess whites that float to the top and essentially separate from the poached egg party, and that’s okay, you didn’t want them to come anyways.

Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the egg out of the water after the whites have set, but the yolk is still giggly and runny inside. Once ready, using the same slotted spoon, remove the poached egg and set on a dry paper towel for the white to continue to set and the egg to dry a bit after its bath.

When the rest of the udon noodle soup is ready, place the egg on top and dig in. The yolk will add a rich creamy element to the fresh bright broth.

Poached Egg2Poached Egg4

Taco Salad

I have to admit I had my doubts about this one. There are a lot of steps and in the end it’s still just a salad right? Well, I’m happy to report that it was worth the work. Most of all I was surprised how awesome the sour cream drizzle was when it blended with the meat mixture. Everything worked so well together and I didn’t even miss the crisp taco shell. I did however toast some Greek pita bread in the oven, cut it into wedges to serve along side.Taco Salad

Believe it or not, with all the steps noted below, I didn’t include a few items because I figured I didn’t need them. So if anyone is interested, just click on the original link to the recipe from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry and there are additional recipes for Chunky Avocado Salsa and Tortilla Bowls.

Taco Salad
Adapted from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry via Food Network Canada

This is a multi-step recipe. Spiced sour cream may be made a day in advance, but the taco beef is best if made fresh.

Ingredients

Taco Beef

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 2/3 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup ketchup

Spiced Sour Cream

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated lime zest

Salad

  • 12 cups chopped romaine or mixed lettuces
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup packed shredded light sharp (old) cheddar cheese (4 oz/113 g)
  • 3-4 Green Onions, sliced

Taco SeasoningTaco Seasoning

  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Taco Beef
Cook beef, onions, green pepper, garlic, and jalapeno in a large (12-inch) non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir often and break up large pieces of meat as it cooks. Do not drain. Sprinkle taco seasoning over beef, then add broth and ketchup. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium and let mixture cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Spiced Sour Cream
Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Salad
To assemble salad (either individual servings or on a large platter), layer ingredients in the following order: lettuce, hot beef mixture, corn, black beans, cheese, sour cream drizzle, avocado, cheese, sour cream drizzle, green onion.

Taco Seasoning
Makes enough seasoning for this recipe. You may wish to double the recipe and store the leftover seasoning in an air-tight container for future use.

Naan and Whatever Is Left In My Fridge

Naan and Pulled PorkOkay, I’m having one of those nights. I’m hungry. I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for. It’s the end of my (grocery) week and I have no clue what I’m making for dinner. I’m sure most of you have experienced this before. It’s like doing your groceries on an empty stomach. Never a good idea. You always come back with five frozen pizzas, a massive jar of Nutella, some insanely sugary cereal and whatever else you happened to walk by.

Once again, I’m saved by one of the blogs I’m following. This time my thanks goes to Go Bake Yourself. She happened to review an Indian restaurant she recently visited. Looking at all the tempting photos of her food I stalled on the one of the Naan Bread. No joke, my brain seriously said “Mmmmm…Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.” That’s what happens on an empty stomach, people.

I thought, “Oooh! I have some on my counter!” And then, “What the heck do I put on it?” Because although I probably would eat it on the couch while watching television, my family seems to want something more substantial.

Sigh. Fine. *Rustles through freezer* How happy am I to find a freezer bag of pulled pork? Ecstatic, because my workload just dropped by ninety percent. Woo! By the way, I make my pulled pork in the exact same way, seasonings and all, as my blade roast.

The great thing about this kind of meal is that you can replace the meat with almost anything you like. Shredded chicken breast, sliced steak, hell I’d go to far as to say grilled and sliced Portobello mushrooms. Why not? Check your refrigerator, you’ll be surprised what you can come up with when you’re hungry enough 🙂

So here’s the big recipe today, I listed the ingredients the way I layered them from bottom to top. Adjust the quantities based on how many sandwiches you need to make.

Pulled Pork on Naan Bread

Ingredients

  • Naan Bread
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pulled Pork or Shredded Chicken or Sliced Steak, etc…you get where I’m going with this 😉
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Cheddar (or your preferred cheese), grated
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Wedge of Lime, optional

Directions

Pile everything on one side of the bread, squeeze a bit of lime juice on top, fold over and enjoy.