The Meal Planner


Over the Easter break, I took my kids to my Dad's and we visited for the week.  My Dad is a totally adventurous eater like me; he loves to cook and try new things.  I told him we should pick a recipe from
The Looneyspoons Collection so I could have another recipe to review.  He picked this soup.

It was a cinch to throw together and was ready in less than 30 minutes.  I've learned from eating other Asian soups that it's nice to add sauces and accompaniments on the table for everyone to doctor up their own bowl, like Thai Sukiyaki or Ba Mee Giao Moo Dang.  My Dad went with a bit of sriacha for heat and an extra squeeze of lime juice, while I did the same, but also added another hint of hoisin sauce.  We both LOVED this soup!  It tasted fantastic.  The beauty of well done Asian dishes is the blend of sweet, salty, sour and hot, and this definitely delivers that (if you add some sriacha of course).  Apparently I added too much sriacha hot sauce to my brothers bowl, so he didn't enjoy it all that much. Hey, he SAID he liked heat!

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Serves 6



4 oz (113 g) uncooked soba noodles, whole wheat spaghetti or rice vermicelli
6 cups reduced sodium beef broth
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp ginger root, grated
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
12 oz beef tenderloin, thinly sliced (or use flank steak)
3 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped or thinly sliced bok choy
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup bean sprouts

For serving:
Lime wedges
Sriacha hot sauce
Hoisin sauce


Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again.  Set aside until soup is ready to serve.

In a arge pot, combine beef broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger root, sesame oil and lime juice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add beef, spinach (or bok choy), green onions, mint and basil.  Simmer for 5 more minutes, just until beef is cooked through.  Taste soup and add salt and pepper if desired.

To serve soup, place some cooked noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl.  Top with a few bean sprouts and ladle hot soup over top.  Serve immediately, with extra lime wedges, sriacha, and hoisin sauce at the table for each person to doctor their own bowl.



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THE RESULTS?

A fantastic Asian soup.  All the fresh herbs and the crunchiness of bean sprouts and bok choy with the brightness of the lime and the savoriness of the broth....YUM!  Personally I'm not a fan of soba noodles, so we went with a wide rice vermicelli and I love the texture that bok choy adds to soups (think won ton soup) so I went with that option as well.  

You've heard me get on my soap box about hoisin sauce before, but if you haven't, my absolute favorite brand is Asian Family.  It doesn't have any Chinese 5-spice in it, which means there's no cinnamon/licorice flavors.  It's a sweet, bold flavored Asian BBQ sauce and it's wonderful.  If you need ideas of how to use up your bottle of hoisin sauce, here are some of my favorites:


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4 Responses
  1. Kira Says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and the whole family loved it! It was very quick to throw together. We used bok choy and beef tenderloin. I served it with some steamed dumplings. Thanks for a great recipe!


  2. Food Junkie Says:

    Soups are one of my food loves and I eat it regularly. This sounds really tasty and will be in my bowl soon.


  3. Anonymous Says:

    We enjoyed this meal tonight, but we missed out on the green onions--you forgot to include them on your ingredient list (and we're not sure how many we should buy for next time).

    Also, we used skirt steak, and it was just fine (in case anyone else can't find the recommended steak).


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