Last week I did a post featuring a fried halibut sandwich with one of two halibut fillets we had. The fate of the second fillet is featured above– an Asian-style halibut soup with tender ramen noodles, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, baby bok choy…and about 100 herbs and spices. I really got into it and made the soup using my wok and a wooden sushi spoon as a ladle. (I’ll admit, I was even a whisker away from wearing a Hello Kitty apron…)
Like many of my recipes, the ingredients are interchangeable but the trick here is to layer them properly to get the right depth of flavor and the right consistency (ie not mushy, not too salty or bland). So below I’ve outlined, not a recipe, but conceptual steps to take to make a tasty Asian-style soup.
aromatics/sturdy vegetables and proteins + seasonings and oils + broth + noodles + delicate vegetables and fish + serve+ garnish = so awesome.
Step 1: Saute mushrooms and aromatics (onions, garlic, shallots etc.). If you’re using beef, tofu, shrimp or chicken as your protein, cook them here to get maximum flavor and color. They are sturdy enough to withstand the boiling broth.
Step 2: Season liberally with all your “Asian-style” pantry goods: soy sauce, dash of rice wine vinegar, green onion, ginger, mirin, seasame oil, lemongrass.
Step 3: Add broth: I mix 1 carton of chicken broth and 1 carton of vegetable broth. Combinations of beef, mushroom or fish stock would be equally as delicious.
Step 4: In separate pot, boil noodles only until tender. Drain and set aside. Ramen – the jerry curl of noodles – is my noodle of choice since they are easier to grip with chopsticks.
Step 5: while the noodles cook, add delicate vegetables: bok choi, spinach, leeks, zucchini and fish: haddock, cod, salmon, halibut etc. and stir gently for about 2 minutes.
Step 6: Add a generous scoop of ramen noodles into the bottom of a pretty bowl then ladle soup making sure to get all the good bits; the vegetables and protein.
Step 7: Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, hot chili oil, whatever your heart desires.