Oh how I love thee Asian noodle soups!
When I traveled through Asia I fell in love with the incredible variety, simplicity and flavor of noodle soups. My absolute favorite was a noodle soup from Burma called mohinga. I often had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, sometimes I think I should just do a blog devoted completely to Asian noodle soups.
I have this dream that someday my blog will morph into a travel blog with a focus on different ethnic cuisines a la the the TV shows No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. I’d travel throughout Asia where I could easily spend the rest of my life sharing (and eating) the hundreds if not thousands of variations of simple Asian noodle soups.
This Asian beef noodle soup recipe is a good example of how you can take something so simple and change it up to suit your tastes (or the leftovers you have in the fridge). For example, instead of the beef and beef stock, you could easily substitute chicken and chicken stock and make an Asian chicken noodle soup. Do the same with fish or pork. Or if you’re a vegetarian, just use vegetables. And use whatever vegetables you want. Similarly, use whatever noodles you want.
Garlic, ginger and soy sauce is a common combination in many Asian noodle soups and as far as I’m concerned turns any basic stock into absolute magic. Personally, I just love how it works with beef.
I hope you love it too.
1. Saute garlic and ginger in 1 teaspoon sesame oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add beef stock and soy sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
3. While stock is simmering, prepare noodles according to package directions, drain in cold water and mix with a teaspoon or so of sesame oil.
4. Lightly sear beef strips in a little sesame oil or olive oil, 2-3 minutes per side so that the outside is nice and brown but the inside is still pink. Best to undercook it because it will cook a bit more when you add it to the hot beef stock. You can also grill or broil the steak. Remove from heat and let it rest a few minutes before adding it to the stock.
5. Add mushrooms, red pepper and bok choy stalks to stock and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Add the bok choy greens in the last minute as they’ll cook much quicker than the stalks.
6. Put a handful of noodles and several beef strips in serving bowls and pour in hot stock with vegetables. Add more soy sauce if needed, to taste.
7. Serve with a side of kimchi, optional (though highly recommended!)
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.