Monday, July 14, 2008

ginger and lemongrass

Since returning from Japan I have been craving soups and rice. Generally speaking when I return from a trip I am so sick of the food from wherever it was that I won't eat it for months. This time all I want is fresh fish and beautiful broths with seaweed in it.
So, I've been creating in the kitchen and have come up with a tasty soup that reminds me of being there. This is the generally recipe for it, it's great on a slightly chilled rainy summer night.

Ginger and Lemongrass Soba Noodle Soup
1/2 a package of soba noodles
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. veggie oil
2 T. fresh minced ginger
2 T. chopped scallions (some for the soup, some for garnish)
a dozen or so Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
one stalk of lemongrass, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces and the bulb flattened with a knife
a healthy handful of spinach or cabbage, whatever you may fancy
4 cups chicken stock (you can use veggie stock too)
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
3-4 tsp. soy sauce (I"ve been substituting Braggs Amino Acids, it's a little healthier)
a dash of sesame seeds, for garnish

Cook soba noodles according to the package, then drain and run cold water over them. Toss with sesame oil and let sit.

Heat veggie oil in deep pan or wok to a medium heat, add ginger and 2/3's of the scallions and cook until the ginger becomes slightly transparent. Add shitake mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, allowing them to become slightly soft. Add chicken stock, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms become soft. Add spinach or cabbage and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, divide into bowls and then add a handful of the soba noodles. Top with remaining scallions and sesame seeds.
Enjoy your quick easy delicious soup!

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