I've talked before about making time for writing; either through the habit of writing every day, or by cutting out certain time consuming activities - like going to the gym.
But there's still so much that eats into my limited time to write and cooking dinner is one of the worst culprits. Now granted, I don't have kids. Feeding my animals is as simple as pouring some food pellets into a bowl. So I'm not going to say that this midweek meal is going to work for everyone. In fact, my recipe is single-serving, but it can be made in less than fifteen minutes with basic Asian food-pantry items that can be purchased at your grocery store, Asian grocery (like Hmart), or even Amazon.
This is my quickie version of ramen noodle soup, made a little healthier for weeknight meals. I suppose it could be doubled for two people if you'd like, but it really works best as a one-pot, single-serving meal.
Here's what you will need:
-First, boil the broth in a small pot. Add your soy sauce little by little and check for taste. Then add the mirin and a shake of cayenne pepper. Let it come to a boil. Taste and adjust these components as necessary.
-Add your dried noodles to the boiling broth. My soba noodles take six minutes. If you are using tofu, add the tofu in with the noodles.
-Subtract 1 min 45 seconds from your noodle boiling time. So for my soba noodles, that's 4 minutes 15 seconds.
-At 4 minutes 15 seconds after I added the noodles, I crack in the eggs into the boiling pot. Don't stir them. You want to poach them directly in the broth. If you prefer a more cooked egg, just add them a little earlier. The goal is to get the egg and the noodles to finish cooking at the same time.
-When the noodles/eggs finish, add the spinach very quickly, maybe even 15 seconds before everything is finished. Poke it into the broth (be careful not to break your eggs). The spinach will cook down right away.
-Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Careful, it will be hot! So consider putting the bowl on a plate for easier transport.
Then enjoy! Simple, quick noodle soup that has a nice balance of carb (noodles), protein (eggs and tofu), and vegetables (spinach). Yes, there's too much salt, but eh, nobody's perfect :)
If you get the timing of the egg just right, you'll get a nice soft-boiled egg yolk. It's not quite as good as a real soy-sauce marinated egg, but it's a fast approximation.
This instant dashi stock mix would probably upset a purist (and frankly, what part of this recipe wouldn't), but I find it's a nice pantry staple for making an even more delicately flavored broth if you don't feel like using chicken or beef stock (or are out, as I usually am).
So there you go, a tasty, one-pot, Asian inspired noodle-soup that can be made in fifteen minutes or less. Enjoy!
P.S. Also makes a great hangover cure. I made this particular bowl on Sunday after waking up with a headache following a night with friends that involved just two Pabst Blue-Ribbon beers and half a glass of homemade cider - this is thirty I guess!