Comforting Beef Noodle Bowl With Vegetables and Ginger: An Adaptable Recipe

People have been eating noodles for centuries. As the noodle concept spread, different cultures added their ingredients. The unleavened, stretched dough is made from wheat, rice, buckwheat, mung beans, and even ground acorns. Oriental and European cooks made noodles in various shapes.

Whether they are boiled in salted water, flavored stock, or stir fried, noodles continue to be popular. Indeed, they seem to be more popular than ever. Grocery stores carry noodles with added vitamins and fiber. You can also find noodles that contain vegetables, such as spinach and carrots.

So far, winter in Minnesota has been brutal, with wind chills dipping to 45-50 degrees below zero. In this kind of weather I long for soup and make a big batch, freezing some for future use. This week I longed for Oriental soup and developed this recipe from ingredients on hand.

Noodles are the star of the show and the broth flavors them. You may substitute flank steak or thinly cut ball tip steak for the boneless top blade. Chicken may be substituted for beef and you may use chicken broth. I’m salt sensitive, so I used no-salt instant beef broth and light soy sauce. If you’re not salt-sensitive you may use the salty versions of these products.

Freshly grated ginger tastes best. Peel the skin off the ginger with a spoon. Cut off the ginger you need. Put the rest in a zipper bag and freeze it. I keep a jar of chopped ginger on hand and use it when I don’t have the fresh. Are you longing for comfort food? Are you a noodle nut? This recipe satisfies both longings.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 ounces top blade steak, cut into strips

5 cups water

3 packets no-salt, instant beef froth

4 ounces (half a box) button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 red pepper, cut into strips

1 cup pea pods, halved

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1 small carrot, cut into thin coins

1/2 cup baby spinach

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground ginger

1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic powder equivalent)

Cooked noodles of your choice

1 cup scallions (white and green parts), chopped

Cilantro leaves, chopped

METHOD

Put oil in soup kettle. Saute beef strips over medium-high heat until they start to brown. Add water and remaining ingredients, with the exception of noodles. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are crisp-tender. Using tongs, put some noodles into each bowl. Ladle soup and vegetable mixture over the noodles. Garnish each serving with chopped onions and cilantro. Pass soy sauce, Oriental chili sauce, or teriyaki sauce if desired.

Copyright 2014 by Harriet Hodgson