We had a great neighborhood when I was growing up where doors remained unlocked, the children rotated in and out of the neighbor's pantries and everyone knew each other. I don't think those neighborhoods exist anymore because the world is different now and that makes me sad. However, I recevied an e-mail from one of those neighbors the other day. Her name is Sue and my best friend, Rachel, and I would call her "Soup" because we were nine and it was hilarious. Why? I haven't the foggiest. Ironically, Sue sent me a great recipe for Asian Noodle Soup. Fitting, no?
Now, you may have noticed from my lack of Asian recipes here, but I am not huge on the cuisine. I don't hate it but I certainly wouldn't call it one of my favorite types of food . . . David, on the other hand? Give him steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables and a bottle of soy sauce and you will have a very happy boy. Even though I don't typically love Asian food I have to say that this soup was awesome (I adapted one or two things from Sue's original recipe to suit my family). It is bright and colorful and full of healthy and easy-to-find ingredients. I especially love the ginger in the broth. Such a great flavor! Thanks Sue, or should I say, Soup!
1 whole (2 inch) piece of ginger, peeled
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 pound pork tenderloin (I purchased two loin chops from the market)
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally (I did 3 carrots)
1 head bok choy (green parts only), cut crosswise into slices
1 cup button or shitake mushroooms, sliced
3/4 cup frozen sweet white corn
3 scallions, sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 packages Ramen noodles (whatever flavor - you don't need the flavor packets)
1 teaspoon Sriarcha chili sauce, more or less depending on desired level of spiciness
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Combine broth, garlic cloves, ginger and soy sauce in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Add pork, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove pork and let sit covered with aluminum foil.
Add carrots to pot and cover, venting slightly. Simmer 10 minutes. Add bok choy, mushrooms, corn, scallions, and cilantro. Let simmer until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). While vegetables are cooking, boil Ramen noodles according to package directions (takes about 3 - 4 minutes). Drain noodles and set aside.
Stir chili sauce into soup and season to taste. Remove and discard garlic cloves and ginger. Thinly slice pork against the grain and, along with noodles, to the soup.