“Mom, hey…question for you: do you have any star anise?” I said.
Over the phone, her reasonable response: “Oh, we’re making Chinese tonight in honour of Chinese New Year, are we?”
“Oh…right! Uh…no, I’m making Japanese, actually – but I probably should have…”
So that was my evening tonight – making a Japanese dish for – but not really for – Chinese New Year. In the process I used even more ingredients unfamiliar to me: the aforementioned star anise, and shiitake mushrooms.
To add to the multicultural…ness (?) of the evening, I’m participating in Fiesta Friday, a blog party hosted by The Novice Gardener. If any part of that sentence didn’t make sense to you, that’s understandable, as I think I just attempted to create a new word, and I’d never heard of a “blog party” until about a week ago. If you want to know exactly what it is, you can clearly see it’s linked to above, so click away. Briefly, Fiesta Friday is all about a bunch of bloggers showcasing how they relax at the end of the week.
As you can see, I technically made this dish on a Thursday. However, tomorrow is a Professional Development Day, so I was celebrating the end of a shortened teaching week – and what better way to celebrate than with a big bowl of noodle soup? By the way, that’s rhetorical.
I found this recipe quite quickly via myrecipes.com, and I was drawn to it for its simplicity. That should have been the first indication that I might find the soup somewhat lacking, but after a long – yet short – week, I wasn’t too inclined to question.
I followed the recipe very closely, only wavering in the amount of liquid added. I poured in a bit of water to top my 946ml of boxed organic broth up to a full 4 metric cups, before realizing two key thing: 946ml is in fact a full 4 US cups (1 US cup is approximately 236.5 ml) , and I had no idea which cup measurement was being used. Actually, I also added some somewhat thinly-sliced jalapeno pepper and some bean sprouts to the dish at the end.
The end result was lacking a bit in the flavour department, but that was quickly rectified with a bit of additional salt, and a healthy dose of hot chilli sauce, aka Sriracha. Also, as much as I love udon noodles, the dish probably would have been even better with phở noodles. At the same time, that would have then made this dish somewhat of a Japanese/Vietnamese fusion dish, created in the spirit of a Mexican fiesta, in honour of Chinese New Year – a little too multicultural for a relaxing Thursday (pseudo-Friday) night.
Anyways, I’m feeling drained – time to take a siesta, I think. Although…it is 11pm, so I don’t think it can technically be called that. Regardless, until next time, “Gung Hay Fat Choy”, and happy cooking!