K surprised me again by making this Thai-style chili-lime broth with udon and bok choy tonight. Given that it reached a 100 degrees today, I didn't expect him to cook at all. But, this is the kind of dish we crave on a sweltering day. It's similar to Vietnamese pho. Though, the chilies, cilantro, and lime hint at Thai. We realize that udon isn't the first choice for this type of broth, but we had it on hand and prefer thick noodles. As for the bok choy, it's our go-to vegetable for noodle soups. You'll notice that we tend to mix Japanese, Korean, and Chinese ingredients whenever we make anything Asian.
The chili-lime broth recipe was originally published in Sunset magazine, but is available for everyone on My Recipes. I've copied the recipe here and inserted K's changes.
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
6 cups chicken broth
2 fresh red or green jalapeño chilies (2 oz. total), stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 cloves of garlic
5 slices fresh ginger (each about the size of a quarter)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Asian fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla)
1) In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine broth, chilies, chopped cilantro, lime leaves, garlic, and ginger.
2) Bring to a boil over high heat.
3) Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.*
4) Pour broth through a fine strainer into a bowl.
5) Add lime juice, onions, cilantro leaves, and fish sauce to taste.
6) Ladle into soup bowls.**
*K added bok choy to the broth while it was simmering. You may add another vegetable or meat as well.
**Place cooked noodles into soup bowls before the broth.