Friday, February 6, 2009

gingered tofu and noodle soup

My Saitama friend, Kim, sometimes has a book giveaway, and recently I inherited her Reader's Digest One-Dish Meals: The Easy Way. I adapted this gorgeous soup the other day from it and will never, ever, ever look back. It's a keeper.

The Japanese have a word, sukkiri, that means something like cleansing/refreshing/satfisying, and all I could think about was that word when I was devouring bowl after bowl of this stuff. I usually hear sukkiri in the context of someone eating something cold, like watermelon, in the hot, humid summer, but this soup, man oh man - it's warming and refreshing and enlivening and comforting all at the same time. The ginger is enough to give it a special kick, and I added some cayenne pepper as well to heat things up a bit more. It's so thoroughly blanketing on a winter's day, no matter what the weather's up to. If it's sunny outside, this will just enhance the brightness, and if it's dreary, just one bowl will be enough to chase any blues away. I'm fortunate enough not to have this problem, but I bet if you've got a sore throat this soup would be just the ticket.

You'll need:

1 package (8 oz. or 200 g) fine egg noodles (I used angel hair pasta, but I'm sure any thin Asian noodle would work well, too)
2 T. olive oil
5 scallions, including tops, sliced diagonally 1-inch thick (I used 2 leeks)
3 T. minced fresh ginger
5 cups chicken stock (I used 5 c. water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 small head cabbage, finely sliced (I used 1/2 Japanese cabbage and it was plenty)
12 oz. firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper

I also added 1 chopped chicken breast and several dashes cayenne pepper.

Do this:

Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, toss with 1 T. olive oil, and set aside. In a large pot, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat for about a minute, then toss in the chopped chicken, scallions, and ginger and stir-fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat, then add the cabbage, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about a minute or two. Stir in the cooked noodles and the tofu, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. (The book says this serves 4 but these proportions made a huge amount of soup, probably close to ten bowls worth.)

Lift your bowl as close as possible to your gob, use chopsticks to shovel in the chunky bits, and slurp the broth straight onto your taste-buds-of-happiness.

Sendin' this on over to Kahakai Kitchen's Souper Sundays...


Anonymous said...

Good soup! How warm and comforting! With a 'lil spice.

FOODalogue said...

That looks really good!

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Duodishes, it IS warm and oh so comforting! :)

Joan, it was so good I'm thinking about making it again REALLY soon! :)

Joie de vivre said...

Oh how lovely. I love how you say it's okay (and encouraged) to slurp. I always feel self conscious.

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Joie de vivre, it's pretty common in Japanese culture to slurp, so I'm just following the customs over here! :) (Oh, and I enjoy it, too.)

Deb in Hawaii said...

Slurping works! This looks so delicious--I am defintely making it. Love all the ingredients and the ginger especially! Thanks for coming to Souper Sunday--the round up is posted.

Have a great week!


Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Thanks, Deb! I had a look at the roundup and it all looks so nice!

Kim said...

Hi Abigail! I'm so glad you were able to use that cookbook! The pictures alone made me hungry!

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Kim, I've got a couple of other recipes I want to try from it, too, and then I might pass it on to someone else...It's been fun having a new cookbook to devour! :) Thanks again!

Kim said...

I was trying to figure out how to use that block of tofu I over bought with the chicken breast I found in the freezer! I'll use up the rest of the Chinese cabbage too. I remembered this recipe! YUM!

Abigail (aka Mamatouille) said...

Kim, hope you like it! :)