After a few weeks of incessant sugar indulgence, I’ve had enough. I am craving savoury dishes; good, hearty, healthy meals. Gone are the sugar cravings (and the headaches that come with them), the interest to dive into the chocolate has disappeared and all I can think about is fresh green herbs and delicious vegetables.
This is my first attempt at making noodle soup. I am not sure why I haven’t tried it before, I think I was scared off by the thought my attempt would wind up tasteless. For my first effort I was pleasantly surprised. The fragrant subtle soup is complimented by the robust flavour of the dumplings, made so by using beef mince. I bulked up the accompaniments to the beef such as the spring onions and coriander, they made for interesting texture and taste. I also didn’t dice the prawns too small so there were little chunks of prawn deliciousness in the middle of each dumpling. Next time I will try the dumplings with chicken mince, I think chicken will go beautifully.
This recipe was inspired by Marie Claire’s lifestyle/food section. There was a section on Asian soups, and the one that caught my attention was a fragrant dumpling and noodle soup. That version had pork dumplings, but since I don’t eat pork I made beef dumplings instead. The soup base is deliciously fragrant with the inclusion of star anise, kaffir lime leaves, ginger (I just can’t get enough of fresh ginger), black pepper and a hint of lime. The original recipe called for lemongrass, although since I am not a fan I omitted it and added a squeeze of fresh lime instead. A totally different flavour but fresh lime is always a winner when accompanying Asian spices in my opinion.
Ingredients // serves 4
(Inspired by Marie Claire’s Fragrant Dumpling and Noodle Soup)
100g peeled prawns, chopped
200g mince (pork, chicken or beef)
3cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 green chillies, deseeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)
1 litre chicken stock
2 star anise
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
5cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
6 whole black peppercorns
1 bunch baby pak choy
350g egg noodles
Fresh coriander and lime or lemon wedges to serve
Place all dumpling ingredients into a bowl (except the oil) and mix with your hands until well combined. Roll mixture into 12-14 walnut-sized balls and place into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile place chicken stock, star anise, kaffir leaves, ginger and peppercorns into a pot over low-medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry dumplings in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown, turn regularly. Drain on paper towel.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, add pak choy and blanch. Take pan off the heat and remove pak choy. Add noodles to the water for 2-3 minutes (or according to packet instructions), remove, drain and separate.
Remove aromatics from soup. Divide noodles over 4 bowls, spoon over soup, add dumplings and pak choy, and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with lime or lemon wedges.