cold weather noodles . . .

by mulberryshoots

noodles 2It’s been frigid here and elsewhere (so many minus degrees below zero where M. lives in Minneapolis that they closed the schools!) This morning, I straightened out the books and magazines on my small Chinese table and came upon the “healthy” recipes that Bon Appetit was promoting in its January issue.

Leafing through, there was a teriyaki sauce recipe from a restaurant called “Canal House.” Three simple ingredients of the same measure:

1 cup packed light brown sugar;

1 cup mirin (Japanese rice wine); and

1 cup Ohsawa soy sauce (or low-sodium soy sauce):

simmered until the sugar dissolved and then cooked at very low heat for 40 minutes until the sauce thickened slightly. Good in the fridge for a month, the recipe said.

I paused midway through the thickening of the teriyaki sauce and tasted it with the tip of my spoon. The flavor was so rich and delectable that I imagined right away using a dollop of it to flavor fresh shitake mushrooms, softened in a pan; or glazing a piece of salmon or chicken thighs on the Le Creuset “Soleil” grill pans my daughters and I received as Christmas gifts from Santa (that’s me!)

So here’s the recipe for cold weather noodles I made for supper tonight:

1. Boil fresh Chinese wide egg noodles, drain and rinse with cold water, shaking out excess water. Defrosted a frozen pack of noodles tightly zipped in a plastic bag set in warm tap water and used two coils worth of noodles (see top photo.)

2. De-rib some lacinato kale and chop the leaves into two inch diagonal pieces.

3. Chop up some napa cabbage including leaves (same diagonal slice.)

4.  Saute 2 cloves of garlic in a pan, add greens above and take off the heat when just wilted. Drain and set aside.

kale and napa cabbage

kale and napa cabbage

5. Combine 1/2 pound of fresh ground pork with scallions, ginger, and brown in a saucepan, adding a little teriyaki sauce when pork is browned.

cooked pork with garlic, kale and cabbage

cooked pork with garlic, kale and cabbage

6. Make a dashi broth in a sauce pan (either instant powder or with kombu and bonito flakes); add browned pork, cooked greens and stir. Cook gently for soup flavors to combine. To taste, add a spoonful of teriyaki sauce to the broth.

7. Add cooked noodles to soup and simmer.

dashi broth, kale, cabbage, pork, noodles flavored with teriyaki sauce . . .

dashi broth, kale, cabbage, pork, noodles flavored with teriyaki sauce . . .

8. Ladle into soup bowls and add a poached fresh organic egg on top or sprinkle with scallions.

It’s still pretty cold out there. But in here, it smells like heaven.