SOUP RECIPES

CHINESE BEEF NOODLE SOUP

This recipe is slightly difficult but once perfected the family will be asking for more.

Serves 4

2 to 4 tablespoons cooking oil

1kg beef chuck steak or gravy beef

2 green onions

10 cloves garlic, smashed

2 pieces ginger, minced

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn

3 tablespoons Chilli Bean Paste (doubanjiang)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup Japanese sake or Chinese rice wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

(Optional) 2 potatoes (or 1 daikon radish, or a few carrots)

4 servings noodles

4 servings beef stock

(Optional) Green salad leaves or blanched bok choy to garnish

1. To brown the beef in the oven, preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cut beef into 1.5 to 2 inch chunks (about 4 to 5 cm). Spread the beef in a roasting pan. Brush a thin layer of oil onto the meat. Roast for 20 minutes. Take out the beef and flip. Cook until the beef turns to an even golden brown color, about 20 minutes.

2. To brown the beef on stove top, heat a large frypan with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until hot. Add beef. Let cook without moving for a minute. Continue cooking until the bottom side turns golden. Flip to cook the other sides, until the beef is evenly browned.

3. Transfer the cooked beef to a plate. Add 1/4 cup hot water to the baking tray or pan. Scrape off the brown bits, so you can transfer them to the braising pot later.

4. Heat a large pot or wok with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until warm. Add green onion, garlic, ginger, and Sichuan peppercorn. Cook until the garlic turns a plate yellow color. Turn to medium low heat. Add doubanjiang and tomato paste. Stir and cook until the bean paste releases oil, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add beef to the pot. Stir a few times to coat beef evenly with the sauce. Add back the brown bits from step 4, if any.

6. Add 2 cups water, Japanese sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry powder, and cumin powder to the the pot. Stir to mix well. Turn to medium high heat. Cook until almost bringing to a simmer. Turn to low heat and cover. Let the beef cook at a very gentle boil until it starts to get tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes

7. Add veggies of your choice (potato, daikon radish, and/or carrot). Stir to mix well. Cover and cook until both the veggies and the beef turn tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

8. You can cook the beef stew one day before serving, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge, and reheat right before serving.

9. When you’re ready to serve the noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the instructions.

10. In another pot, add about 6 cups beef stock. Cook until bringing to a boil.

11. Divide beef stock among 4 bowls for serving. Add a few spoonfuls of sauce from the braised beef. Taste the broth. It should be a bit salty and very rich. Add salt if necessary. Mix well. Add noodles, top with a few chunks of beef and veggies, and garnish with green onions and greens (if using).

12. Serve immediately.

WONTON NOODLE SOUP RECIPE

Serves 4

300 grams minced pork

2 stalks green spring onion, finely minced

1 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

packet of wonton wrappers, at room temperature, covered with a damp towel

1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1/4 cup cool water (cornstarch slurry)

1 litre chicken broth

1 packet of egg noodles

1 bunch bok choy, leaves separated and washed well

1 teaspoon sesame oil

chili garlic sauce (optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine the pork, spring onion, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil. Mix well.

2. Put a small teaspoon of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, brush cornstarch slurry on all edges. Fold over to form a triangle, press to secure edges, encasing the filling. Brush cornstarch slurry on one tip of the triangle. Bring two corners together and press to secure. Place on clean, dry plate in one layer and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining.

3. In a large stockpot, add all but 2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. The 2 cups of reserved broth should be room temperature or just slightly chilled. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the wontons. Bring pot back to a gentle boil. When it reaches a boil, add 1 cup of the reserved broth. Bring back to a boil and again, add the remaining 1 cup of reserved broth.

4. Keep the heat on the pot on (you still need to cook the noodles and bok choy) while using a sieve to scoop up the wontons and distribute amongst the bowls. Cook the noodles in the pot according to the package instructions. Add the bok choy to the pot during last minute of cooking noodles and let simmer, until cooked through. Ladle broth, noodles and bok choy to bowls. Drizzle just a few drops of sesame oil in each bowl.

5. Serve with chili garlic sauce if desired.

FIJIAN LOVO NOODLE SOUP

This is an easy recipe using instant ramen noodles and any leftover meats and palusami from the previous night’s lovo

Serves 4

8 packets instant noodles (your favourite flavour)

1 bunch Chinese cabbage, cleaned and chopped

leftover lovo meat, shredded

leftover lovo root crops, sliced into wedges

left over palusami

fresh chilli and lemon

1. Reheat the leftover lovo ingredients first, shred and set aside.

2. In a large pot, measure the right amount of water for 6 packets of noodles, bring to the boil

3. Add the noodles and cook for no longer than 2 minutes, stirring the noodles to separate

4. Add the cabbage and cook for another 1 minute

5. Drain out the excess water, so it leaves enough to cover the noodles by 2 inch. Add the flavour satchel and stir.

6. Transfer the noodles and soup evenly over 4 large bowls.

7. Neatly add the lovo ingredients to the top of the bowl

8. Garnish with chilli and lemon

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