Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup
I'm prepping for an interview right now. And by right now, of course, I mean, I'm avoiding prepping for it by blogging. Certainly you understand.
I haven't been actively seeking out jobs for a few months, because I've been making enough money as a freelancer to cover my ever-looming loan payments, food, and the occasional night out. But this potential job kind of fell into my lap, and it's kind of perfect for me, so here's hoping I don't completely bomb tomorrow morning.
I'm always at a loss when interviewers ask for my biggest weakness. Um, hello? Who is going to answer that honestly? I've heard it's a question skilled interviewers don't really ask because everyone knows you're not going to get a real answer.
However, while we're on the subject, potential employers, I'm not always the best at managing time. I do create lists of priorities, yadda yadda, but sometimes I pack my schedule too tightly, and I'm inevitably left racing around to get everything done.
Take for example, yesterday. I meant to cook this soup for a few friends before one rushed off to teach class, but ended up making my already short timetable half an hour shorter. You know it's a bad day when you're already running late, and in the grocery store thinking, "It would be comically terrible if all the pork tenderloin just happened to be missing from the shelf"—and then what happens is exactly that.
However, thanks to the help of two diligent amigos who I was supposed to be cooking for rather than with, this soup came together in less than half an hour, including prep time. The meat cooks quickly, and the ginger, scallions and lime create a wonderfully flavorful broth that's full of nothing but yummy, healthy things.
Thank you, Nigella Lawson. You truly are a domestic goddess.
Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup
From Nigella Lawson
10 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into thin discs and then fine strips
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons fish sauce
8 ounces ramen noodles (or other noodles)
1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil (I just used regular oil and would have sauteed a clove of garlic with my ginger and scallions if I'd had any on hand)
6 thin or 3 fat scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 quart chicken broth
3 cups (10 oz.) bean sprouts
2 small baby bok choy, torn into pieces
2 teaspoons chopped red or green chiles (optional, I think)
Marinate the (already cut) pork tenderloin in a bowl or bag with the lime juice, soy sauce, paprika and fish sauce. Let stand for up to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions, drain and rinse in cold water. In another pot, heat the chicken broth to almost boiling.
In a deep, heavy frying pan or a wok (or, I just used a pot), add the oil and fry the scallions and ginger for about a minute, then add the pork and its liquid to the wok. Stir and cook for about two minutes or until pork is mostly cooked. Then add hot chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Check that the pork is cooked through, then add the bean sprouts and baby bok choy. At this point, the soup is ready to serve, but I think the flavors would pop more if given a little more quality time together, maybe 15 minutes or so on a very low heat setting.
To serve, arrange noodles in serving bowls, ladle pork and vegetables on top, and then add the broth. Garnish with chopped chiles.