Hello, hello! These posts have been few and far between lately, I know. (Hopefully that will all change soon, though!) But take note: to counterbalance this smallness in quantity, I’m really trying to go big in the quality department! And so my friends, I offer to you one of my favorite recipes ever, Pork & Noodle Soup with Cinnamon & Star Anise.
How can I possibly put into words, the deliciousness of this soup, when all I can normally muster up are drawn out ooh’s and an ahh’s? Well, I think I need to start with the pork – slowly braised, achingly tender shreds of sweetly succulent pork shoulder. This is a good start, for sure. And then, the broth – deep in flavor and and dark in color, salty and sweet and absolutely addictive. It’s an incredible combination of hugely flavorful ingredients – briny soy sauce, sweetly acidic rice wine, and molasses-flavored dark brown sugar. And spreading throughout this sweet/sour/salty trio are the warm, subtle tones of cinnamon, garlic and star anise. It sounds like a lot for a tongue to handle, I know. But please don’t be timid. This combination of flavors is absolutely miraculous. One bite and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
All this talk about broth, and I nearly forgot about the noodles! And oh, these bean thread noodles!! They start our as skinny, brittle threads of spongy weirdness, pale white and wiry, and with no flavor to speak of. (Check out the picture down below.) But a quick dip into hot broth, and they absolutely transform, soaking up all the color (and flavor!!) of the soup, becoming shiny, translucent strands of shimmering gold. Smooth and slippery, they tangle up all the chewy shreds of pork into a giant web of amazing tastiness. And then atop this rich mess of warm, golden goodness - a bright, fresh sprinkling of sharp green cilantro and scallions. It’s the last element in the equation, the one that brings everything together, and brightens everything up.
Bite after bite, slurp after slurp, I promise you just won’t be able to get enough of this soup! We’ve made this time and again, and always end up surprised by how incredibly good it is. Please, make this for yourselves, and soon! You won’t be sorry!