Spicy Shrimp and Noodle Soup

Is it cold where you are?  It’s been frigid here in Philadelphia and it’s getting more difficult to get out of my warm bed…   I recently bought a nice down 3/4 length coat and it’s keeping me warm outside, but the only problem I have is my face  – how do I keep my face warm without wearing those bank robber face mask???  Well, anyway, maybe it’s because of this cooooold weather, I’ve been craving for hot noodle dish,  greasy food, and spicy food!   Today I decided to make this noodle dish I saw on one of my friend’s Facebook page.   She got the recipe from a food blog http://oliveadayblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/spicy-shrimp-and-noodle-soup.html?spref=fb.  I altered the recipe slightly, but I have the original recipe below, and the altered recipe in the end. 

IMG_1463

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced into rounds
3 large white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small bunch bok choy, roughly chopped
1 cup frozen snap peas, defrosted
1-2 tablespoons spicy Szechuan stir-fry sauce
1 lb. fresh shrimp (shell removed and reserved for stock)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 packet Chuka soba noodles (Japanese curly noodles) or plain dried ramen noodles
1 tablespoon butter
1 lime
1 small bunch cilantro, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Directions
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in a stir-fry pan or heavy medium saucepan. Add ginger and carrots and sautée for about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add jalapeno, mushrooms, bok choy and snap peas to the saucepan. Cook vegetable mixture for an additional 2-3 minutes.
3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Szechuan sauce (to taste) and sautée for an additional 10 minutes on medium heat or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer vegetables to a separate bowl on the side.
4. Add ½ cup water and the shrimp shells to the remaining sauce in stir-fry pan. Bring to a boil and boil until the shells turn pink. Strain the broth and reserve. Discard shells.
5. Add three cups of water to shrimp broth. Bring to a boil. Add scallions and salt to taste.
6. Cook soba noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook noodles until tender according to package directions. Drain noodles and reserve in a separate bowl.
7. In the stir-fry pan , add 1 tablespoon butter. Cook shrimp until pink, about 3 minutes over medium heat. Squeeze juice of ½ lime over shrimp.
8. Add vegetables and noodles to shrimp and stir to combine.
9. Add 1 cup of the reserved shrimp broth and 1 tablespoon Szechuan sauce to stir fry mixture and mix to combine. Cook mixture for 3 minutes on medium high heat.
10. To serve, ladle soup into bowl. Add 3/4 cup of shrimp broth. Garnish with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds and a wedge of lime.

What I altered: 1.  I increased the quantity of the veggies, and also added sliced fried tofu (stir fry with the veggies).  
                                2. I also added about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil while I stir fried the veggies and the fried tofu ( you can get this at the Chinese market). 
                                3.  Instead of chuka soba noodle,  I bought the noodle (pictured below).  It’s already cooked, so all I did was boil some water in a kettle and pour the hot water over the noodle in a large stainless steel bowl.  Let is soak for few minutes. 
IMG_1459
                                    4.  I used vegetable broth instead of other broth. 
                                    5.  Fresh snap peas taste much better!  I put tons of fresh snap peas:-)
                                    6.  Instead of adding the veggies and noodles to the shrimp and cooking in the soup,
 I formed an assembly line.  Add the noodle in a bowl, top it off with the veggie mixture, add the shrimps, pour the hot broth and scatter chopped cilantro. The  key is to keep the broth hot in the pot, get the noodle in the bowl while the noodle is hot and eat it right away!

My opinion:  I thought this noodle dish was very tasty.   The vegetable broth may have been a bit too dense, I may have to dilute it just a little bit next time.   I think if you’re not into spicy food,  you can omit the Szechuan sauce while stir frying, and add to the broth while you eat little at a time.   Definitely hits the spot in this cold weather!

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