Well, I made it in to work today. The two other people in the office appreciated it, I’m sure. Unfortunately, I am afraid what I once thought were allergies are turning into flu-like symptoms and I spent most of the day freezing at my desk, sipping hot water and staring into space. It was then that I decided I needed soup, and my planned dinner of shrimp lettuce wraps would have to be converted into a hot, liquid version. You crave strange things when you don’t feel well. For instance, for lunch I had to have a sweet potato. I walked far and wide through the blustery streets of Chinatown to find one.
But it is the cheapest, healthiest and easiest homemade lunch around. ($0.40 sweet potato – microwaved for 5 minutes, free apple from work – chopped on top) All covered with cinnamon. Worth it.
One of my new year’s resolutions is to cook more Asian food. I must sound like a broken record: sweet potatoes, goat cheese, kale, quinoa, spinach, wahh wahh. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my staples and will continue to cook them, but it’s good to stretch yourself. So, I’m starting with this spicy shrimp soup.
I walked the 8 blocks to the cheap Asian vegetable market near my house, found all of the Asian ingredients foreign to my pantry, and walked back arms brimming with groceries – homeless people didn’t even ask me for change because it was clearly going to be more hassle than it’d be worth. But dang, it hit the SPOT. Spicy, warm (after the fever-like chills I had while preparing it) and flavorful.
Spicy Asian Shrimp Soup with Glass Noodles
1 bundle glass noodles
½ pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 small heads bok choy, leaves separated and halved lengthwise
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini but shiitake would be nice too)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
½ jalapeno, diced
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice of half a lime
1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar
salt and pepper
Handful cilantro, chopped
Soak glass noodles in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften. Wash and prep all ingredients before beginning to cook. In a large skillet or wok, heat olive oil and add shallot and garlic. Briefly cook until aromatic, and add mushrooms and bok choy. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms start to soften and add ginger and jalapeno, followed by vegetable broth and water. Bring to a simmer and add shrimp and glass noodles. While shrimp cook, add fish sauce and lime juice. When shrimp are cooked through, drizzle with rice vinegar, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro.