Tag Archives: noodles

The Best Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

When the weather gets chilly and all you want to do is stay cozy inside, we know exactly what you’ll be craving: a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup! Our favourite childhood meal, this faux chicken noodle soup is made entirely from plant-based ingredients and we promise you won’t notice the difference.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients:
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
7 cups low sodium vegetable stock
170 g meatless chicken strips (approximately 2 cups)
200 g fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4tsp ground pepper

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Directions:
1. Pull apart the meatless chicken strips with your hands to make smaller pieces that look shredded.
2. In a large pot, heat sunflower oil over medium heat and then add meatless chicken strips and brown for 1 minute.
3. Add basil, thyme, sage, sea salt and ground pepper, and continue browning the strips for another 5 minutes.
4. Add onion and sauté for another 2 minutes, allowing them to soften and sweat, stirring occasionally.
5. At this point, add a bit of vegetable stock to lift up the brown bits off the bottom of the pot, stir in celery and carrots and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
6. Add minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
7. Add all the vegetable stock and noodles (you can use any type of pasta, which may vary the cook time) and stir to combine.
8. Cover pot with lid, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until noodles are tender and cooked through.
9. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in parsley.
10. Serve immediately.

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How Susur Lee Pimps His Noodle Soup

Want to take your noodle soup to the next level? We spoke to Chopped Canada judge and world-renowned chef Susur Lee for his tips on turning simple soups gourmet. Whether you’re upgrading a homemade recipe or adding flair to a packaged version, soup it up with Susur Lee!

Ramen

Food Network Canada/Food Factory

Ramen

Pimp it with: Chinese BBQ duck breast and plum sauce.

“The idea of ramen noodles, it’s really about convenience, right?” says Susur. He suggests an easy upgrade by combining ramen with another delicious convenience food: BBQ Chinese duck breast. “I like making Japanese-style ramen, and getting Chinese BBQ duck breast in Chinatown, and just putting it in,” says Susur. “I think it’s perfect. And with a little bit of plum sauce on top, it’s the best, the most convenient, and you can really pimp it up! I would eat that any day.”

Hong Kong Macaroni Soup

Karon Liu

Hong Kong Macaroni Soup

Pimp it with: sake, marinated pork tenderloin, Vietnamese cilantro and lemon balm.

“If you’re making macaroni soup, your pasta has to be quite overcooked; it cannot be too al dente,” advises Susur. “If I eat that soup, it’s very soft.” Broth is also important, so make or select a good quality base and add a touch of sake for depth. Then, instead of the usual cold cut ham, Susur recommends marinating thinly sliced pork tenderloin with soy sauce, egg white, green onion, ginger and “quite a bit of black pepper.” Lightly poach the marinated pork in the hot broth just before serving, and top the soup with chopped lemon balm and Vietnamese style cilantro — “Not the Chinese, not the Spanish, the Vietnamese long one,” explains Susur. Since this dish will be eaten with a spoon, be sure to cut all your ingredients to bite size.

Alton Brown's Chicken Noodle Soup

Food Network Canada/Good Eats

Chicken Noodle Soup

Pimp it with: semolina dumplings, poached chicken slices and marjoram.

Turn your chicken noodle soup into a delicious meal experience with thin slices of poached chicken breast (follow the same method as the pork tenderloin above) and semolina dumplings. “It’s basically semolina, an egg, butter and Parmesan cheese,” says Susur. “You whip it together and turn it into a dumpling, and you just float it, almost like a matzo ball. It expands in the chicken noodle soup, and it tastes so good. And also chopped marjoram — that would make the soup taste really good… And that’s my pimped up noodles!”

PhoPho

Pimp it with: Don’t even…

“I think I wouldn’t ruin the pho,” says Susur. “I think pho is so perfect.”

Super Easy Ramen Noodle Bowl

If you’re looking for easy recipes, ramen noodles are probably the easiest thing to make ever! But we’ve made them fancier and you can certainly feel a little more proud than you did in college about eating this ramen noodle bowl. It’s filled with fresh veggies and fragrant miso broth that’ll warm you up any time of day.

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Ingredients (1 large serving):
1 package of instant ramen noodles (we like Lotus Foods rice ramen)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp miso paste
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped kale
2/3 cup cubed medium firm tofu
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/4 cup dried seaweed
Sesame seeds (to taste)
Sriracha (to taste)

Directions:
1. Boil noodles in 2 cups of water as per instructions on the package. During the last minute of cooking add in broccoli and kale to cook in boiling water.
2. Take 2 Tbsp of the noodle water and mix it with 2 Tbsp miso paste until dissolved and well combined. Pour the water, noodles, broccoli and kale in your large serving bowl. Stir in the miso paste and water mixture to combine it into the soup. Add remaining ingredients and serve immediately.

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Asian Noodle Salad with Sweet Ginger Dressing

Think of this beautiful salad as a superfood version of traditional chow mein! It has lots of crunch from bright and colourful veggies, a little comfort food flair with a hearty helping of noodles, and we’re sure the sweet and zesty ginger dressing will soon become a staple in your weekly menu.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 salads

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Ingredients:

For the Sweet Ginger Soy Dressing:
¼ cup sunflower oil
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp miso paste
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger

For the Asian Noodle Salad:
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
½ tsp sesame oil (for edamame)
½ lbs (225 g) chow mein noodles or rice noodles
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for noodles)
1 Tbsp + ½ tsp gluten-free tamari or soy sauce (for edamame & noodles)
10 cups lacinato kale, finely chopped into ribbons/shreds
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 red pepper, julienned
1 cup bean sprouts
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
¼ cup sesame seeds

Directions:
1. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve the salad.
2. Cook noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or as per cooking instructions. Drain and set aside.
3. Cook frozen edamame in a pan over medium-high heat in ½ tsp of sesame oil and ½ tsp of soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari) for 4-5 minutes. They should appear toasted but still with some bright green colour to them.
4. Remove edamame from pan and keep it on medium-high heat. Add the cooked noodles and toss in the pan with 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), frying for 2-3 minutes.
5. Mix the finely chopped kale with shredded carrot, cabbage and green onion, and toss in 2-3 Tbsp of sweet ginger dressing.
6. Divide this mixture amongst your serving dishes. Top the greens with noodles, edamame, julienned red pepper, bean sprouts and sesame seeds. Drizzle a little more dressing on top, if desired. Serve immediately!

Note: The dressed kale mixture can keep for a day in the fridge without becoming soggy.

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Soba Noodle Bowl With Garlic Shrimp and Miso Dressing

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become absolutely obsessed with composed bowls. They could be rice bowls, noodle bowls, salad bowls or soup bowls — it doesn’t matter! You can’t get tired of them because each bite has a different taste and texture. Also, they’re so gorgeous; each element is dressed and cared for individually, then arranged in a beautiful way on the serving plate. It’s like having five dishes at the same time.

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This noodle bowl is light and refreshing. You’ve got components that are steamed, marinated, fresh and sautéed, all on one plate. This is a great dish to eat at room temperature but you can eat it warm as well. It’s super easy to make and take for a work lunch. The dressing is tangy and great for salads too. A great way to kick off spring!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

For the sprouts:
2 1/2 cups soy bean sprouts
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch or 2 of gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), optional

For the dressing:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1Tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil

For the soft boiled eggs:
4 eggs

For the noodles:
300 g (10.5 oz) package soba noodles
Salt for boiling water

For the garlic shrimp:
3/4 lb (340 g) shell-on shrimp (head removed)
Salt for seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the bowls:
12-15 steamed asparagus spears
2 radishes, julienned
1 avocado, sliced
Black sesame seeds, to garnish
Maldon sea salt, garnish

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Directions:

For the sprouts:
1. Place the sprouts in a large bowl and season with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and gochugaru (optional).
2. Toss and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

For the dressing:
1. Combine the white miso, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, mirin and salt in a bowl and whisk.
2. While whisking, drizzle in the sesame oil and then the grapeseed oil until the dressing has emulsified.
3. Set the dressing aside in the fridge.

For the soft boiled eggs:
1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
2. With a push-pin, make a small hole on the large end of each of the eggs. This will prevent them from cracking open.
3. Slowly lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil for exactly 6 minutes.
4. Immediately transfer the eggs into the ice bath and leave them in there for 4 minutes.
5. Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.

For the noodles:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Drop in the noodles and boil for about 4 minutes until the noodles are completely cooked through.
3. Drain the noodles into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
4. Once the noodles are cool, transfer them to a large bowl and toss with 1/3 of the miso dressing. Set aside.

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For the garlic shrimp:
1. To devein the shrimp with their shell on, use kitchen scissors to cut along the back and remove the vein with a small pairing knife.
2. Season the shrimp with a generous amount of salt on both sides.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the shrimp in one layer. Do not over crowd the skillet! Do this in batches if needed.
5. Sear the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove them onto a plate.
6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic into the residual oil/butter.
7. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
8. Remove from the pan onto the shrimp.

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For plating the bowls:
1. Place the noodles into each serving bowl.
2. Beautifully arrange the steamed asparagus, radish, avocado, marinated sprouts, garlic shrimp and soft boiled egg around and on top of the noodles.
3. Drizzle some dressing over the avocado, asparagus and egg.
4. Garnish with black sesame seeds and Maldon sea salt and enjoy!

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Notes, Substitutions, and Shortcuts:
– Gochugaru is used in making kimchi. It’s a bright red Korean pepper flake. This is optional for the sprouts.
– Alternative to whisking the dressing together, you can throw all the ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth.
– You do not have to use shell-on shrimp. I like the flavour it adds while the shrimp cooks.
– Lots of this can be made ahead of time including the sprouts, eggs, and noodles.

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

How to Make Faux Pho

Pho, the Vietnamese rice noodle soup dish (pronounced “fuh” with the inflection and not “faux” as it’s commonly mispronounced), has quickly become a go-to comfort food for many. Its distinctive blend of aromatics and, of course, wallet-friendly price point, is a welcoming sight on a cold, miserable night. For those times when venturing out the door is too much of a challenge, here’s a surprisingly easy way to recreate the flavours in less than half an hour in your very own kitchen.

Phobroth_sized

Faux Pho Broth
Yields enough broth to cook noodles for two people, or make one XL-sized bowl.

Ingredients:
900 ml no sodium-added chicken or beef broth
3 star anise pods
2 teaspoons all-spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha, to taste
Salt, to taste
Package of noodles (Vietnamese rice noodles or Japanese udon)

SpicyPho_sized

Directions:
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a soup pot. Add the anise, all-spice, black pepper, cinnamon. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Season with salt to taste. Drizzle in Sriracha as well if you want a spicy broth.
3. Throw in noodles. Continue to simmer until noodles are tender.
4. Finish with various toppings and serve immediately.

Toppings:

Proteins
Make sure to slice the meat really thinly so that they’re easier to pick up (and eat) with chopsticks.

Grilled chicken
Roast beef or flank steak
Tofu steaks
Peeled shrimp (grilled or boiled in the broth)
Fried or boiled egg sliced in half

Vegetables
Raw veggies add that distinctive watery crunch that contrasts the hot, earthy broth.

Bean sprouts
Green onions
Snow peas or sugar snap peas
Kimchi
Green onions
Corn niblets
Mushrooms (add when the broth is simmering with the spices)
Raw baby kale or spinach leaves
Quick Pickles*

Quick Pickles*

Directions:
1. Simmer sliced cucumbers, julienned carrots, white onion, and daikon in a saucepan with 1/2 cup white vinegar, and a pinch of both salt and sugar for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
3. Let cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

Healthy Buddha Bowl with Creamy Tahini Dressing

There’s something about eating a healthy, hearty meal out of a nice big bowl that just makes you feel good. The possibilities for your bowl are endless, but we thought we’d offer up some fresh suggestions to bring balance to your meal. These offerings pair well with a base of soba noodles or quinoa, and our delicious creamy dressing will bring you to full-on lunch enlightenment. Here’s to more mindful eating!

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Makes: 4-5 bowls

Spicy Toasted Chickpeas:

Ingredients:
1 x 398 ml can of chickpeas
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Drain liquid from canned chickpeas and rinse under cool water. Lay them on top of paper towel, place another piece on top and roll it around to remove the outer skins. Allow chickpeas to dry of excess water on a fresh piece of paper towel.
3. Toss chickpeas in a bowl with olive oil, spices and sea salt, and coat evenly. Pour chickpeas onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, turning half way through.
4. While they bake prepare the dressing and other ingredients for the bowls.
** Use 2 Tbsp of spicy toasted chickpeas per bowl/serving.

Grain Base Options:
230 g (8 oz) buckwheat soba noodles or 1 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground pepper

Directions:
1. To prepare soba noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil with 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Once at a rolling boil, add the noodles, stir until submerged and lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain and rinse with water.
2. To prepare quinoa, rinse under running water through a sieve and drain. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil with ¼ tsp sea salt. Once at a rolling boil, stir in quinoa and cover with a lid. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3. While noodle/quinoa are still warm, toss them with lemon juice, ground pepper and finely chopped green onion (add 1 Tbsp olive oil as well to cooked quinoa).
** Use a heaping ½ cup of quinoa or soba noodles per bowl/serving

Creamy Miso Tahini Dressing:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup tahini
1 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp miso paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Directions:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve.
** use 1/3 cup dressing per bowl/serving

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Other Ingredients:
1 large crown broccoli
** use 1/2 cup (5 or 6 florets) per bowl/serving
3 cups finely chopped kale
** use 1/3 cup per bowl/serving
2 large carrots
** use 1/3 cup per bowl/serving
2 cups red cabbage shredded or finely chopped
** use 1/3 cup per bowl/serving
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
** use 1/3 cup per bowl/serving
1 cups marinated whole artichokes, quartered
** use 1/4 cup per bowl/serving
3 cups sunflower sprouts
** use 1/2 cup per bowl/serving
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
** use 1 Tbsp per bowl/serving
1 cups fresh cilantro leaves (or fresh herb of your choice)
** use 1 Tbsp per bowl/serving
1 lemon, cut into wedges
** use 1 wedge per bowl/serving

Directions:
1. Cut broccoli into florets and steam for 3-4 minutes. Submerge in cold water to prevent further cooking for up to 5 minutes and drain.
2. Massage kale with 1 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt with your hands until it begins to soften and wilt.
3. Peel outer skin of the carrots and use peeler to shave off thick ribbons.

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Better-Than-Takeout Vegan Pad Thai

You might be tempted to just order some Thai food from your local joint, but you can make a fresh and fragrant version of Pad Thai at home with the help of a little unexpected ingredient. Dates are a staple in our pantry – we use them for tons of raw desserts and in our morning green smoothies, but when blended with savory flavours like miso, sesame and lime, it tastes very similar to tamarind paste, which is the traditional base of pad Thai sauce (not ketchup, as some restaurants would have you believe!) Try this vegan Pad Thai and you’ll be convinced that healthy home-style cooking is far better than soggy takeout.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

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Ingredients:

Sauce:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegan oyster sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Siracha
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons miso paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Pad Thai:
200 grams brown rice fettuccine noodles (or flat rice noodles)
350 grams medium firm tofu
2 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying)
½ cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups broccoli florets
3 cups bean sprouts
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted cashews (or peanuts)

Directions:

1. Let dates soak in water for 15 minutes.
2. Drain the water from the tofu and let it sit in paper towel for 10-15 minutes to get rid of excess moisture. Then cut into cubes.
3. Drain and rinse dates from soaking water. Then place them in a high-powered blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth and set aside.
4. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Once the water is at a rolling boil, toss in the noodles and stir occasionally while they cook for approximately 10 minutes. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside in a colander.
5. Meanwhile, heat a large pan to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and cubes of tofu. After 4-5 minutes, flip the cubes to another side to crisp. Flip the cubes every 2 minutes to get each side golden brown.
6. When the tofu cubes are golden brown all around, add ¼ cup of the sauce to the pan and coat the pieces evenly, cooking over the heat for another minute. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside. You’ll toss tofu into the vegetables and noodles near the end of cooking time.
7. In the same pan over medium heat, add another 1 tablespoon of oil and the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently.
8. Add in minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
9. Then add in broccoli and sprouts (you might want to leave a small amount of raw sprouts aside as a garnish on top of the finished pad Thai) and cook for another 4-5 minutes stirring frequently.
10. Pour in half the amount of sauce remaining, toss to coat all the veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
11. Add in the cooked noodles and remaining sauce, turn the heat down to low, toss to coat everything in sauce and cook for another 3-4 minutes. At this stage you can adjust the spice level if you desire by adding another 1-2 teaspoons of Sriracha.
12. Serve immediately and top with green onion, cilantro, raw sprouts and chopped cashews (or peanuts).

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Chinese Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles with Kung Pao Chili Oil

Chinese New Year is upon us! Time for firecrackers, dancing dragons, cornstarch and red everything! Being a connoisseur of Chinese Christmas takeout, not to mention an avid customer at late-night Chinese food joints, I will be celebrating the year of the goat with tons of greasy eats! If crispy beef, chow mein, Kung pao, and beef and broccoli made a baby, it would be this recipe. Not traditional in any sense, but definitely great for celebrating. Happy Chinese New Year!

CrispyBeefNoodles-4

Yields: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 ½ hours

Ingredients for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon grated garlic
2-3 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1 red hot long pepper, sliced thinly
1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
½ teaspoon sesame seeds

CrispyBeefNoodles-7

Ingredients for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

1 package (425 grams) flat, fresh rice noodles or dried wonton noodles
¾ – 1 pound Sirloin cut thinly into ¼”-thick strips
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup canola oil for frying
Salt for seasoning

½ pound broccolini, stems removed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoon grated garlic
3 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
3 Tablespoons dark soy sauce (regular soy if fine too)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts

CrispyBeefNoodles-3

Directions for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

  1. Heat the canola and sesame oil over high heat for 2 minutes in a small sauce pan.
  2. Turn the heat off and immediately add the Sichuan peppercorns. They will sizzle at first. Let steep for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the Sichuan peppercorns from the oil and discard. If you like that strange mouth-numbing sensation from those peppercorns, just leave them in! (Personal preference is to remove them.)
  4. Add the grated ginger, garlic, and chili flakes to the oil.
  5. Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Fry for 2 minutes once you see that it has started to sizzle. Don’t let the garlic burn!
  6. Turn the heat off and let steep for 15 minutes.
  7. Combine the chopped peanuts, red hot long pepper, Chinese 5-Spice, and sesame seeds in small Mason jar (or bowl) and pour the chili oil over top.

Directions for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just cooked through.
  2. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a wok, or large frying pan, over high heat.
  5. When the oil is hot. Dredge the pieces of beef in the cornstarch, shake off any excess and fry for 4-5 minutes until the outer edges are golden brown and crispy. Note: do this in batches! Don’t crowd the beef in the oil or else it won’t fry properly and will become gummy. Add more oil to the wok as needed between batches and make sure to dredge the beef in the cornstarch just before placing it in the oil.
  6. Remove the beef to drain on a paper towel lined cooling rack or plate. Season with salt.
  7. Drain out any excess oil left in the wok after frying.
  8. Return the wok to the stove and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  9. Add the broccolini to the hot wok with ¼ cup of water. Toss frequently
  10. Once the broccolini has cooked through, with a slight crunch, and the water has evaporated, remove it from the wok.
  11. Immediately add the sesame oil to the hot wok. Add in the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.
  12. Add the Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to the wok.
  13. Once the sauce is bubbling, add the noodles, broccolini and sprouts. Toss until everything is warmed through and the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt.
  14. Plate the noodles and broccolini, top with the crispy beef, and drizzle Kung Pao oil over top. Enjoy!

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Notes, Substitutions and Shortcuts:

  • If you can find “Milanese” sliced beef, which is extremely thin, use that! It’s perfect.
  • Substitute Chinese Egg Noodles if you cannot find rice noodles or wonton noodles at your grocery store.
  • You can get store-bought garlic chili oil and add chopped peanuts and fresh red hot long pepper slices to it instead of making the Kung Pao Chili oil.
  • Kung Pao Chili Oil will last for 2 weeks in an air-tight container like a mason jar. The longer it sits, the spicier it gets!
  • A good substitution for Shaoxing wine is a medium-dry Sherry.
  • Dark soy sauce will be thicker and more flavourful than regular soy sauce. But if you do not want to buy a whole bottle of dark soy for 3 Tablespoons, you can just use whatever soy sauce you have on hand.
  • This dish comes together very quickly. Make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start frying that beef!

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Easy Hot and Sour Soup with Shanghai Noodles

Crunchy wood ear, soft tofu cubes, silky egg ribbons, tangy vinegar, and an umami-laden chili broth makes the classic hot and sour soup a delicious bowl of bold flavours and textures that are surprisingly easy to throw together. If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, you’re going to want to start the feast with this appetizer, or do what I did and throw in fresh Shanghai noodles to soak up the delicious soup and make it into a main.

While hot and sour soup was never much of a fixture at our family’s Chinese New Year’s dinners (a good chunk of my family can’t even handle the spice of black pepper), my mom and resident Chinese-cooking expert Uncle Simon gave me some tips when I was developing this recipe. For them, the key is using “toban jan”, a fermented paste made of chilies and beans used throughout in Sichuan cooking. This is what’s going to give you that deep reddish-brown colour and that signature spicy umami kick. You can find this in the Asian aisle at the supermarket and it goes wonderfully with tofu, chicken, stir-frys, and on top of rice and noodle dishes. Think of it as Chinese sriracha.

For the sour component, I was advised by both of them to use ketchup. I love them both (especially if they’re reading this post) but I substituted the ketchup with a sharper, less sugary rice vinegar that turned out quite well. If any readers decide to listen to my mom and use ketchup, please tweet me @karonliu and let me know how it goes. A tip I did use was cooking the noodles separately in water rather than in the soup. This is because the noodles have a light coating of flour, which would leave a chalky taste in the broth.

One final note: wood ear mushrooms are sold dried at the Chinese grocer and need to be soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes before they’re ready to be eaten. Shimeji mushrooms can be found fresh at the Asian grocer (along with the Shanghai noodles), but if you can’t find them use another slightly chewy mushroom like enoki or shiitake.

Hot and Sour soup recipe Food Network Canada

Ingredients:

For the soup base
1 litre no salt-added chicken broth
3 tablespoons Chinese chili-bean paste (the anglicized name is “toban djan”)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

For the pork
1/2 pound pork loin, sliced into long and thin strips (about a cup)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

For the toppings
4 wood ear mushrooms
2 ounces shimeji mushrooms (about a cup)
1 cup firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 large egg
4 ounces fresh Shanghai noodles (about 1/4 package)
Chopped green onions for garnish

Directions:

    1. If your wood ear mushrooms are dehydrated, reconstitute them by soaking them for 30 minutes in boiling water. Do this ahead of time, or even the day before. Store the hydrated mushrooms on a plate with a damp paper towel draped on top.
    2. In a medium-sized soup pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil.
    3. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the pork together (meat, soy sauces, sugar, cornstarch, and ginger) in a bowl. Set aside and let marinate for five minutes.
    4. In a slightly oiled pan, sear the marinated pork until it starts to brown, about one or two minutes. Set aside.
    5. When the broth is boiling, add the chili paste and vinegar. Stir until the paste has completely dissolved. Chop the wood ear mushrooms into smaller slices and add them to the pot along with the simeji mushrooms. Stir and add in the cornstarch to thicken the soup. Bring to a boil and add the tofu and pork. Whisk the eggs together and add them to the boiling soup very slowly in a thin stream. Keep the soup to a simmer.
    6. Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until they are al dente, about two to three minutes. Drain and set aside.
    7. To plate, pour 3/4 of the soup into a large bowl. Pile the cooked Shanghai noodles high on top in the centre, and then ladle the rest of the soup around the noodles. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately. Serves two as an appetizer, or one as a main dish.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.