”Make Your Own” anything is always a popular choice with kids. And in my family of control freaks (the males) and perfectionists (the females), it is especially popular. (I should add that I am a perfectionist because a control freak sounds too negative. Shut up. I know they are essentially the same thing).
Anyway, last night was a “Farmer’s Market” night as Tuesday is our CSA pickup day. I basically figure out what we are having on the way home from our CSA. The choices are getting a little more plentiful — radishes (both regular and daikon), greens, spinach, and herbs. Soon there will be more than I know what to do with. And because it was so cold here yesterday (we drove home in snow!), I was leaning toward soup. I had leftover chicken broth and the daikon radishes were making me think about something Asian.
I came up with this noodle bowl and the kids really loved choosing their own garnishes. I forced a few choices by putting the onions and spinach in for everyone — but you certainly don’t have to. And it was a great, light and easy dinner that warmed up a family of Type A’s on a snowy April day.
Make Your Own Asian Noodle Bowl
- 1 pork tenderloin, sliced very thinly (or protein of your choice: tofu, shrimp, chicken, etc.)
- 4 cups of chicken broth (homemade is pretty essential, but experiment if you like)
- 2 cups of water (or more broth if you have it)
- 1/2 cup of sherry
- 3 T soy sauce
- 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch of spinach, washed, stemmed, and chopped into thin shreds
- 6 oz. pasta (we used whole wheat spaghetti, but soba or rice noodles would be great)
- 1 t salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- Thinly sliced cabbage
- Carrots, in ribbons (use your peeler to make ribbons)
- Sliced or grated daikon radish
- Chopped Green Onions
- Sliced Fried Egg
- Chile Garlic Sauce/Spicy Asian Sauces
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- Slice pork thinly. Chop ginger and garlic. Wash and chop vegetables/garnishes.
- Bring broth, water, sherry, soy, ginger, and garlic to a simmer in a stock pot over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Increase heat on broth to medium and add in pork slices to cook (or other protein — if using shrimp, however, save those until the end and cook until just done).
- After 2 or 3 minutes, add in pasta.
- When pasta and pork are done, reduce heat and add in chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper and more soy sauce if needed.
Arrange garnishes on plate and put on table with sauces or condiments. Ladle out a bowl full of noodles, pork, and soup for everyone and allow them to add the garnishes that they enjoy.