This delicious soup is what I’d lovingly refer to as a “flavour bomb” and, admittedly, slightly spicy as well. The intense flavours you’ll find in Southeast Asian ingredients like Thai curry paste or sambal oelek can offer as much warmth in a pot of soup in the cooler months of the year as they do brightness in, say, a meat marinade when you’re barbecuing in the summer.
With that in mind, here is a soup that will keep you warm and cozy in the comfort of your kitchen while you watch the snow and wind dance unforgivingly through your window.
6 cups (1.5 L) pork broth
2 cups (480 mL) vegetable broth
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 slices smoked pork shoulder, ½ cm thick, roughly chopped
1 5 cm piece ginger root, peeled and halved
2 Tbs (30 mL) mirin
2 Tbs (30 mL) sambal oelek
1 Tbs (15 mL) soy sauce
2 stalks gai lan, 2.5 cm chopped (a.k.a. Chinese broccoli which is available at most major grocers)
1 cup (240 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
1 tsp (5 mL) rice wine vinegar
1 can whole baby corn, drained and 1 cm sliced
2 packages udon noodles
- Bring broth to a boil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Once simmering, reduce to medium heat, add onion, pork shoulder and ginger and let cook for 25 minutes.
- Discard ginger root, and add the next 4 ingredients to the pot. Continue to cook until gai lan is al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients to the pot (note: the water should be added to offset the liquid the udon will absorb). Stir gently for a few minutes to allow udon noodles to separate, and once baby corn and noodles are heated through, the soup is ready to serve.