PRAWN UDON NOODLE SOUP INSPIRED BY DELICIOUSLY STELLA
Now if you've listened to Bella Younger's episode she stayed true to her Deliciously Stella persona and tried very hard to have a smoked ham sandwich for every answer. I think she horrified people by deciding that the Marks and Spencer snack aisle was the best food she's ever eaten, although of course M&S are delighted. I did like the idea of her Desert Island Dish choice for the the dish you tend to eat the most often. A hot bowl of homemade broth with noodles.
I tried to call this ramen, but my fianceé, being half Japanese, would not hear of it and since we only just got engaged I don't want to risk upsetting him. So I decided to call this very simply, "prawn udon noodle soup". It's a kind of does what it says on the tin sort of name. I like very much that the ingredients for the broth are all things one does tend to have in the cupboard. And I do think it's always wise to have a variety of noodles, pastas and pulses in the cupboard too as they always come in handy.
You could keep this completely vegetable based or like me you could add prawns. Chicken also works wonderfully as does the rather more decadent pork belly. I do love serving soft boiled eggs on the top and eating the whole thing with chopsticks. I guess if I am marrying into the Japanese heritage that's a good thing I am already practising?
The focus of this recipe is really on the broth itself. It's a sort of challenge. How much flavour can you pack into a simple broth? The answer is a lot. And the result is hearty, light and very satisfying.
4 cups chicken stock, homemade is possible, or picked up from your local butcher
2 tsp sesame oil
1 inch of freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1/2 red chilli chopped
glug olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
250g udon noodles or ramen noodles
4 baby pak choi, pulled apart into separate leaves
2 spring onions, sliced
1/4 red chilli, finely sliced
Cook the eggs in boiling water for 8 minutes before running under cold water and peeling. Cut in half and set to one side.
Cook the noodles according to the packet. Yes it's tempting to try to cook them in the broth but it's an error as they make it too starchy. Trust me on this.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic, fresh chilli, and grated ginger. Once it smells amazing, add the dried chilli, and season.
Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and mirin and cook for a minute or so before pouring in the stock. Bring to the boil, pop a lid on and leave for 20 minutes.
Turn the heat back on gently, and add the prawns ad pak choi and cook until just heated through. Divide the noodles between the bowls and pour the broth over the noodles. Give everyone a boiled egg on their noodles.
Top with some finely chopped chillies and some sliced spring onion