Monday, April 10, 2006

Say The Magic Word, And I'll Show You My Noodle

I've always liked the soup made from those bricks of dried noodles that are sold for three or four for a dollar. I think part of it is the cool little 'flavour' packets that are included. It almost seems like a magic trick. You start with cooked noodles in hot water, then sprinkle the magic flavour dust over the top, stir, and voila! - you have soup. Now, I've never really been able to tell the difference between the different flavours, except by the different colours of powder - 'chicken' is yellow, 'beef' is brown, 'oriental' is reddish, etc. etc. Whatever, it's all good. Recently, I have been reacquainting myself with the joys of 'noodle magic', and have been using them as the base for some pretty tasty experiments.

Since I had just made a trip to the Grocery Palace, my fridge was loaded with some fresh veggies so I was good to go. I started out with three packages of the dry noodles, and I decided to go with the classic 'pork, pork, chicken' configuration for the basic flavourings. I put about 6 cups of water on to boil, dumped the flavour packets into a large bowl, then added some fresh ground pepper, some garlic powder, and some crushed chili flakes. I then sliced up some mushrooms, grabbed a handful of bean sprouts, and tossed them both into the bowl with the flavourings and lightly tossed them so that they were nicely coated in the good stuff. When the noodles were ready, I just dumped them into the bowl with the seasoned veggies, stirred, and Voila! - soup. I added some more bean sprouts on top, sprinkled some oregano over everything and let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavours combine, and also to let it cool a bit. There's nothing worse than slurping up some hot soup noodles, and getting the whiplash effect that leaves a burning line up the centre of your face. owie.

Other variations on this theme have involved adding an egg or two into the boiling water with the cooking noodles, and getting kind of an egg-drop soup effect. Also, I tried adding a packet of instant onion soup mix into the boiling water with the noodles. That worked well, and certainly worked better than just dumping the onion soup mix in after the noodles were coooked. Let's just say that the taste was a little intense.

I realize that this is not exactly revolutionary cuisine, but it was fun to make and it tasted good. That's pretty much all I aim for when being creative in the kitchen.

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