Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

   Asian broth and noodles.  It really doesn't get much better.  So satisfying and comforting on a rainy day, but still light enough that you can eat a huge bowl without feeling guilty.  Originally I wanted to use bok choy.  Then it was like $3/lb at the store so we bough savoy cabbage.  Buuut, on our way back from the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores (one of my favorite places ever) we stopped by a little roadside produce stand.  The main reason we stopped was for peaches.  However, there was a lovely selection of local greens, peppers, onions, etc.  Walking through the small space, I was greeted by a box of gorgeous bok choy.  Best part?  One dollar each!  You can't beat that.  Also, they were the perfect size.  Not baby bok choy, but not the flavorless behemoths found in the store.  I had almost forgotten how much better fresh, local produce is.  Without planning it, this Asian soup became a celebration of eastern NC:  local bok choy, spring onions, garlic, and shrimp.  (Oh, and feel free to use firm tofu instead of shrimp.)
 Shrimp and Bok Choy Noddle Bowl
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp grated garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flake
5 C water
2 C vegetable or chicken broth
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce (optional, but salt will need to be adjusted)
juice of 1/2 lime
1 lb peeled, deveined med shrimp
3 pkg ramen noodles (flavor packet discarded)
1 med head of bok choy
1 lrg carrot
1/2 lrg red bell pepper
3 spring onions (or 5 scallions)
1/4 C chopped cilantro

   Heat oil over medium heat.  Quickly saute garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes stirring constantly for about 1 minute.  Add the rest of the broth ingredients except the lime.  Bring to a simmer.
   Roughly chop bok choy, discarding fibrous ends.  Add to broth and cook for 5-7 min.  Very thinly slice carrot and bell pepper.  Thinly slice spring onions, set aside of the green tops.  Add carrot, pepper, and onion whites to broth, cook another 5 minutes.  Veggies should be tender and broth reduced by about 1/4.  Add lime juice.
   Toss shrimp with salt and pepper.  Add shrimp and noodles to soup.  Turn heat up to med-high.  Cook shrimp through, about 5 minutes.  Just before serving, stir in cilantro and green onion tops.
   Serves 5. 

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