Day 83: How do you make soup, Mr Noodle?

March 24, 2007

This evening, supremely early for us as Baby A didn’t take a nap all day and so was in bed by 6pm, L and I made Ginger Vegetable Chicken Noodle Bowl. This is a pretty basic noodle soup with garlic, ginger, carrots, spring onions and beansprouts, in a broth seasoned with Chinese five spice and cumin. Oh, and how could I forget, there was chicken in there too, and vermicelli pasta. This dish literally took only a few minutes to make, with minimal chopping and stirring. In many ways it was everything you’d ask for from a thirty minute meal, but it was just a little blah.

Which is not to say that we didn’t enjoy it; it was certainly a welcome change from all the hefty meals we’ve been eating lately, particularly those with strange mashed concoctions. Noodle soup is always a winner. We got married in Vancouver and ate almost every night at a tiny hole in the wall Japanese noodle restaurant. When we got home, we ate replica Noodle King soup about three times a week for six months. It was good; it was our pasta pesto of 2001.

The problem with this particular noodle soup was two-fold. Firstly, the chicken tasted a little like an old shoe, probably a beige, lace-up, orthopaedic shoe. Secondly, although there was a reasonable taste and aroma of ginger, the flavour was a little one-dimensional. There could have been some spice, some kick and/ or some complexity. Soy sauce helped, but the general taste impression was a little bland. And I always find it strange that Rachael Ray uses variations of spaghetti in Asian dishes, when there are so many great noodles in the world. And other forms of protein for that matter. However, considering we’re all still feeling very much under the weather, this was a good meal for the evening, but I don’t think we’d ever reach for this recipe over getting take out.

Tomorrow, we make chicken in white wine; Chicken Francese and Wilted Spinach. The following day we are to remake the dish with with flounder. Preliminary research indicates that we may not be able to locate the required fish. As I am to be cooking and eating alone, due to L’s ongoing work obligations, maybe I could use that exotic tofu fish.

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  • Reply Joannie March 25, 2007 at 7:07 am

    I find with Asian dishes that a splash of rice wine vinegar rounds out the flavor. I love a dressing made of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seed oil.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project March 25, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Rice wine vinegar is fantastic. When we make noodle soup it is normally with a miso and rice wine vinegar base. mmmm. And you’re so right it makes a great dressing or dipping sauce.

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