Noodle soups are one of my favourite things to have in the winter. It gets to be an addiction to slurp up the noodles and broth, with a hit of spice.
Funny I hadn’t tried to make many until this year. This time around, I decided to try making Tom Yum soup with some noodles added to make it into a meal. The results weren’t quite what I expected, but it sure did hit the spot!
It started with a trip to Chinatown, searching for soba noodles. While there, I kept seeing things I wanted to cook with. Remember how we talked about getting inspired by ingredients? I saw the lovely stalks of lemongrass and knew I had to do something with them! I decided to make some kind of soup, and just grabbed up other ingredients that I thought I would need.
Had to get some rice noodles.
There’s a trick to cooking rice noodles. It took me years of trying to finally make them without ending up with a gloopy mess. Here’s the trick – soak in a bowl in cool water for at least a half hour, bring a pot of water to a boil and turn off. Drop noodles into the hot water, gently stir around, and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain, and put noodles into cool water to stop the cooking process. Drain again, and set aside until you’re ready to use them.
OK, back to the soup. I got home, and looked up a recipe for Tom Yum soup – one of my very favourite Thai soups. Turned out, I only needed to get a few more ingredients to make it. I did make some substitutions, however. The chili paste I used was a little different, and I think the tamarind concentrate was a little different… and the noodles aren’t really typical in Tom Yum.
It didn’t turn out exactly like Tom Yum, but it made a great meal. The tofu was a great addition, as it soaked up lots of the intense flavour. The broth was really quite tart – not a surprise, considering the tamarind and citrus. The noodles were perfect.
I think this started a bit of a trend for me – I’ve made another noodle soup since (to be posted soon!), and I’m really itching to make a soup like my favourite Vietnamese soup (one we lovingly refer to as ‘crack soup’).
Until next time!
Yummy Noodle Soup
Part ‘Tom Yum’, with lots of noodles. Modified from a recipe found on Temple of Thai.
- wide rice noodles, cooked
- 4 cups of vegetable broth (or water)
- 2 stalks fresh lemon grass, trim off the very end of the root and smash with the side of a cleaver of chef’s knife; cut into 1 inch pieces; or 2 pc dried
- 3 slices fresh galangal root (smashed) or 2 pc dried
- 3 fresh kaffir lime leave or 4 pc dried (I used 1 teaspoon ground)
- 2 teapoons tamarind concentrate
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 300g firm tofu, cubed
- 5 long beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1 – 2 inch lengths
- 5 baby bok choi, cleaned, and separated into stalks
- 3 green onions, white parts sliced into big pieces, green parts cut into small rings
- 1 teaspoons chili paste (I used Sriracha, but it called for a different Thai chili paste)
- a few oyster mushrooms
- 1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick
- 1 small lime, squeezed
- 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
- Bring liquid to boil over high heat in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce and tamarind concentrate.
- Add the tofu, bok choi, long beans, onion (white part only), chili paste and mushrooms. Boil 7 minutes, or until the the veggies are cooked through.
- Add the tomatoes. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice.
- Taste to adjust the seasoning, adding fish sauce to taste.
- Add a portion of noodles to a bowl, ladel in some soup, garnish with cilantro and green onion (green part only) and serve.
Serves 3 to 4.