Nothing says comfort food like a big bowl of slurpy noodles. Surprisingly, I don’t miss living in New York as much as I thought I would. I’ve adjusted well to the tropical weather and the beach across the street from my home. And the flip flops. But one of the things I really miss is the delicious and plentiful Asian food. It’s sorely lacking here in Miami, so I’ve taken to making much more of it at home than I ever did in New York.
Lately, the craving has been for a big bowl of Udon noodles with pork, dumplings, fish cakes (they’re delicious – I swear!), shrimp tempura and a poached egg. A bit weird since it’s full-blown summer here and that’s definitely a winter meal. But I craved it nonetheless. And it’s nowhere to be found. (If anyone has a recommendation, please please please leave a comment!)
Where was I? Oh yeah – so I made some Udon soup to calm the craving. It’s not really authentic, and doesn’t have the shrimp tempura or the fish cakes, but it’s still a big comfy bowl of noodle soup. And it’s delicious!
Big, Slurpy Bowl of Udon Noodles
8 Wonton wrappers
1.5 oz. Spanish chorizo, diced (Chinese pork sausages are preferable here, but I can’t find them)
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 tbsp. flavorless oil, like canola or peanut
1 lb. boneless pork chop
6 – 7 cups beef stock
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
8 oz. Whole Wheat Udon Noodles (or regular Udon noodles, or Bucatini or Spaghetti if you can’t find Udon)
2 large handfuls of Spinach leaves, washed
4 – 6 eggs (depending on your servings – you want one per person)
Make the dumplings. Sautee the chorizo or Chinese sausage and scallions over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit.
Put a few tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Place a wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand, then dip your finger in the water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Get it nice and moist or the dumplings won’t seal well. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the sausage/scallion mixture in the center, then pinch the edges of the wrapper together into whatever shape you’d like (triangle is easiest). Seal them well and set aside.
Make the soup. Place a large, heavy pot on medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, sear the pork chop(s) for 3-4 minutes on each side, so they’re nice and brown on both sides. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes.
While the pork rests, add the stock and scallions to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Slice the pork as thinly as possible (the insides will still be raw) and add it back to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the Udon noodles. Give them a good stir, then drop the eggs into the pot to poach, leaving them undisturbed for about 6 minutes. Gently and carefully, remove the eggs to the bottom of your soup bowls (one egg in each bowl).
Add the spinach leaves and dumplings and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the wonton wrappers are just translucent.
Ladle everything over the egg and serve with Sriracha, a spoon and a fork (or chopsticks). Enjoy with napkins and familiar company.
Serves 4 – 6.