Friday, May 29, 2009
Udon, Porc and Shittake Mushroom Soup
I've been pretty busy lately.... and sadly just realized that I forgot to celebrate my 100 posts mark. I guess it's never to late to start the festivities, so happy 100th posts chocolate shavings!
"Chocolate Shavings...." my dad said on the phone the other day. "How did you come up with that name anyway? Is it a reference to the many, many baking experiences you had in our family kitchen growing up?" I paused. True, I started baking when I was pretty young. Making various baked goods was one of my great hobbies, and I learned early on that I didn't really like to follow recipes. I would come up with my own crazy concoctions and make the whole family eat it. Sometimes they were good... sometimes not so much. "You're right dad.. but I really enjoy cooking savory foods too. The name chocolate shavings is my way of mentioning all the little cooking tricks that turn a meal from a simple cooked dish to something special....like chocolate shavings added to a white chocolate mousse, or lemon zest sprinkled over a simple fennel salad...or a drizzle of truffle oil added to everyday mashed potatoes." My dad paused. "I see, well maybe you should come home more often. Teach me how to move away from the microwave and start using a real pan". My dad has a growing kitchen love affair with microwaves. It's the only kitchen utensil he uses to perfection, and the one that saves him when my mom's not there to save the day. "Well, whatever it is, your site always makes me hungry". That was the best compliment of my day, and comforts me in the fact that I couldn't have chosen a better carreer to dedicate my time to.
This soup is one of my latest concoctions. The meatballs are made with basic asian-inspired flavors (sesame oil, scallions, chinese chives, soy sauce)and are cooked in a simple chicken stock based broth flavored with shittake mushrooms. The mushrooms darken the broth and give it a lovely rich color. I served it with udon noodles, but the soup would be delicious without them as well.
Udon, Porc and Shittake Mushroom Soup (serves 4)
For the meatballs
1/2 lb of ground pork
2 leaves of napa cabbage, finely diced
4 shittake mushrooms, finely diced
1 green onion, finely diced
3 chinese chives, finely diced
2 teaspoons of finely diced ginger
1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of corn starch
For the broth
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup of water
a pinch of powdered dashi stock (optional)
a good handful of udon noodles, cooked
4 shittake mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, sliced
a handful of chopped coriander, to serve
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients to make the meatballs. Make sure that all the ingredients are very finely diced. Form into bite size meatballs and reserve.
In a stockpot, add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Add the dashi. Carefully add the meatballs. Cook for 5 minutes and add the mushrooms and green onion. cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the meatballs are just cooked through. Add the warm cooked noodles to your serving bowls, and top with the meatballs and broth. Serve with chopped coriander. Enjoy!