Monday, September 21, 2009

Rice noodles in a spicy broth

Who needs Ichiban when you can spend the whole day slaving over the stock pot? Yesterday was chilly and windy, an anomaly in the midst of our wonderful long Indian summer, and I was craving soup, and specifically a noodle bowl—not the kind I usually make, which is more of a stir fry, but noodles as it were paddling in hot fragrant broth with raw or just very slightly steamed vegetables arranged prettily on top.

It was a stock-making kind of day, and so I defrosted my little cache of scraps, added an onion, a couple of carrots, a few crushed cloves of garlic, fennel tops, parsley stalks from my garden, a handful of cilantro stems, some dried shiitake mushrooms, and maybe a few other odds and ends, and let them simmer in water just to cover for about an hour, then strained it all through cheesecloth (saving the mushrooms for the soup). Here's what it looked like in the stock pot:

I flavoured my broth with a little additional mushroom soy sauce, lime juice, Sriracha hot sauce, and sherry, and simmered it a little longer with a handful of Soy Curls (fished out again temporarily after they had softened and absorbed flavour and colour from the stock). Once the stock is done, to finish the dish, cook some rice noodles in a separate pot, drain them, and place them in the bottom of a serving bowl. Pour a little broth over the noodles, then arrange red onions, bean sprouts, slivered green onions, sliced mushrooms, the Soy Curls, and a little fresh cilantro--or, of course, your own additions of choice--on top. So good, and now that the broth is made and frozen in single-serving containers, so very fast and easy!

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