Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ramen Noodle Soup with Pork Meatballs



 Hello 2013! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve made it another year! Wooohoooo!

So,…what kind of food should I be eating for good luck? Hmm…for a superstitious like me, I believe that eating fish, shrimp, beans, greens, pork, and noodles for the beginning of New Year will bring good luck. Well, guess what? Since I wish and hope that the best of luck to come my way one of these days, I decided to make noodle soup with pork and pork meatballs.

There’s nothing more satisfying than having a big bowl of hot noodle soup in a freezing weather like this, don’t you think? I often make noodle soup at home. Not because I’m an Asian, and like most Asians, that love eating noodles, but a big bowl of hot noodle soup is also the hubby’s favorite and he often requests even in the summer when it’s too hot to even thinking about hot soup. 




There are steps in making a good bowl of noodle soup which can be intimidating to some people, but, 
believe me, each step is easy enough to follow and absolutely worth the effort. The most important part is the broth which is various depends on where each recipe comes from, which I truly believe that no matter the recipes come from, they all are uniquely AWESOME! If you make good broth, you don’t even need the addition condiments. Though there is a more complicate version of making such perfectly good broth for different kind of noodle soups, my recipe for the broth is the simplified version to make it easy to follow without missing anything but a satisfying result. No matter what kind of meat you use the basic broth presented here is the same which it has never let me down, just change the type of meat and bones you want to use for broth - beef noodle soup might use beef bones and chicken noodle soup might use chicken bones for instance.




YES, there is nothing wrong using store bought broth when you have little time to cook, but who can argue that homemade broth taste better. Since we all have our own personal taste, the addition condiments like chili, vinegar, sugar, and fish sauce are also important for every bowl of noodle soup. Yet, there is a secret that makes each bowl more authentic and enjoyable that will make you go Ahhhh or OMG or Wow .
The secret is the fried garlic. Of course, if you are not a fan of garlic, you can just skip it, but let me tell you that a good bowl of noodle soup will instantly become a GREAT bowl of noodle soup with a spoonful of golden fried garlic. I swear!




 
I usually make a big batch of fried garlic and keep it in a jar and store in the refrigerator. However, my big batch of fried garlic is usually last for a few days in my household because I use them in almost everything and not just in soups.
Pork meat balls are typically used in noodle soup in S.E. Asia in which there are also beef meatballs, fish meatballs and shrimp meatballs. This time I use pork meatballs with ground pork just to keep it simple, or thinly slice of Chinese BBQ pork or Char Siu is perfect to the soup, too 




So, if you like having noodle soup at your favorite noodle restaurant, why not make it your own at home. I promise you it will worth the while.
*This recipe can be served for 4-5 depending on how much or how little when you serve it

What you need:

1. Broth
15 cups water
2 (1-2 lbs) pork bones
2 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
2 cups Daikon chopped
1 cube pork bouillon (optional)
1 package/10 oz Pork meatballs




: In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients, except the pork meat balls, to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium-low and let it simmering for at least 30-45 minutes (the longer the better) with occasionally skim out the excess fat and any dirty foams on top and discard it. After 30 minutes, add the pork meatballs and let the broth simmering on low heat. The broth will probably reduce as much as 2 cups. It’s perfectly okay!





2. Pork
10 oz ground pork
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 cup water


: Add soy sauce and white pepper powder into ground pork and mix well. In a small pot or pan, bring water to a boil over medium heat, add ground pork and cook until the water is cleared and reduced. Set aside. 


3. Noodles
8 oz. Fresh Ramen noodles 


: Cook noodles in the unsalted boiling water for 3-5 minutes and then rinse well with cold water. The noodles should still be chewy. Set aside. 



Topping:
A handful of bean sprouts 
8 oz. baby bok choy blanched 
2-3 spring onions finely chopped 
Fried garlic in oil** 
White pepper powder 

4. Assemble – more or less is depending on how hungry you are.

- For each serving, add approximate of tennis ball size of cooked noodles in each bowl follow by bean sprouts, blanched bok choy, cooked ground pork, chopped spring onion, a teaspoonful or more of fried garlic with oil, and a dash of white pepper powder. Fill the bowl with the broth, how much you decide, and 3-4 pork meatballs. - Serve immediately with additional condiments if preferred.




Additional condiments:
- Red chili flakes
- White vinegar or lime juice
- Fish sauce
- Sugar
- Chili oil
- Coarsely ground peanuts (optional) 


Golden fried garlic



What you need: 
2 cups peeled garlic 
1 cup vegetable/canola oil 

How to:
- using food processor to finely chop garlic, but not too fine, with several pulses
- put the oil in a medium pan or wok over medium-high heat
- carefully add garlic into hot oil, keep stirring around the edges to prevent burn. If the garlic burn too quickly around the edges, the heat is too high.
- as soon as the garlic turn slightly to pale golden color, take off the heat immediately and leave the garlic in the pan since the hot oil will continue cooking the garlic and make them more golden in color, and in the same time cooling down the hot oil.
- store cooled garlic and oil in a glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator which can be kept for weeks.

**if you only want fried garlic to be crispy without oil, continue frying the garlic until they turn to deep golden brown color and then drain the hot oil immediately to separate the garlic and the oil and lay them on the paper towel to absorb out the excess oil.


Enjoy!
^_^



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