After quite a battle, I’m waving the white flag. I’m sick. I’ve lost my voice and have turned into quite the sad sack. On Thursday night, I realized that we were out of broth. Nothing frozen, no cubes, no cartons, nada. I wanted ramen soup and so I bravely ordered out for some from a local Japanese restaurant. What arrived on my doorstep was an insult to ramen soup everywhere. The broth was murkey in the worst way and stunk to high heaven. I tossed it. Luckily, I had also ordered some passible agadashi tofu so I was able to at least eat dinner. The next day, I picked up a few needed ingredients and decided that a homemade ramen soup was going to be on the menu for dinner. But since I was sick, I was drawn to the kick-ass flavours of chilis, ginger root and lemongrass. Screw the ramen, I was going to make a spicy Thai soup with Japanese noodles instead.
This soup is really easy to make, despite the long list of ingredients. First, you want to infuse the broth with goodness, so I threw in a frozen chicken carcass I had in the freezer along with some very heady, aromatic ingredients: ginger, chili, lemongrass, garlic. If you don’t have old bones laying about, skip it! Make it vegan! Don’t have fresh chilies? Used dried. And for noodles, I found some fresh Japanese ramen noodles at the grocery store, but you are welcome to use rice noodles, udon, soba or just plain old spaghetti. Just use a long noodle with a bit of chew that gives a good slurp…because with an asian noodle soup, slurping is the best part! Enjoy.
spicy thai noodle soup
1 carton of chicken or veggie broth
1 chicken carcass (optional)
2 hot yellow or red peppers, seeds removed
2 inch knob of ginger, smashed
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 green onions, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed
1 T soy or fish sauce
zest & juice of 1 lime
8 mushrooms, sliced
2 t toasted sesame oil
2 individual packets of Japanese ramen noodles (or other noodle)
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 c shredded chicken, bbq pork or diced tofu
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
In a large pot, bring the broth, carcass (if using), chilis, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, green onions, soy/fish sauce and lime zest to a low, simmering boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out all the solids and discard while placing the broth back into the pot.
Meanwhile, heat sesame oil in a frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Saute until golden and juicy. Add the mushrooms and their liquid into the broth, along with the julienned carrots, ramen noodles and your choice of protein and bring the pot to a low boil for 2 minutes, careful not to overcook the noodles. Add in lime juice, adjust for seasoning and serve. Top bowls with fresh cilantro.