Thursday, December 14, 2006

Grilled Pork and Noodle Soup

Otherwise known as pork chop soup. This started around the time that Wagamama started in London. I really liked their noodle soups - the way they somehow got a whole meal into a large bowl that firstly was visually arresting when it was served while giving off an intriguing aroma and then was full of contrasting flavours and textures so that each mouthful was different from first to last. Initially I just ate at Wagamama a lot. Then I started tinkering at home to make my own versions and discovered that not only is this soup easy to make, there are endless variations around the basics of stock, noodles, greens and a poached egg.

The recipe below is last nights version.

Grilled Pork & Noodle Soup

2 pork chops
800ml/1 1/4 pts stock
250g/ 1/2lb chinese greens like bok choy
1/4 savoy cabbage, shredded
1 tbspn olive or peanut oil
1 tspn sesame oil
200g/ 6oz dried egg noodles
2 eggs
small bunch coriander, chopped

Season the pork chops and put under a medium grill, turning occasionally till cooked. At the same time, heat half the oil in a large saucepan, wash the bok choy and add it, with any water clinging to the leaves, to the hot oil. Cover with a lid and cook till just wilted. Drain in a colander and set aside. Heat the other half of the oil, wash the shredded cabbage and add it to the hot oil and cover and cook till just wilted. Add it to the colander with the bok choy then toss with a little sesame oil. Cover with the lid from the pan and set aside.

Heat the stock to simmering. Add the dried noodles and cook gently for a few minutes. By this time the pork chops should be done - take them out from under the grill and slice. Take the noodles from the stock with a pasta spoon and make a little nest in the base of two large bowls. Turn the heat up under the stock to full. Break an egg into the middle of each nest then ladle boiling stock over them to poach them - they should cook immediately. Arrange the sliced pork and the shredded veg around the egg then top with more stock. Sprinkle generously with coriander and serve.

This makes for a quick supper - it is all done in the time it takes to grill the pork chops. You can use steak or chicken or tofu, grilled prawns would be nice, add chillies and spring onions and fried shallots or garlic slivers or bean sprouts or all of the above, if your bowls are big enough.

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