I created this recipe a number of years ago for Natalie when she was suffering from a bit of a cold since she is a big fan of ginger, garlic, and hot peppers. It provided some relief and we’ve been making it ever since, whether we need it for its curative properties or not. Despite the fresh vegetables, we usually eat it in the fall and winter, as it is soothing for stuffed up noses and sore throats. Of course, spicy soup is always comforting in cold weather.
This recipe can be very flexible and you can adjust the amounts to your taste and by what vegetables are available. However, the key ingredients are lots of ginger and garlic, and some type of hot pepper. Miri, Soy Sauce and Star Anise also help give the broth it’s characteristic flavor, so don’t omit or skimp on these items. You can leave the soup with just vegetables — I sometimes add shrimp but cooked pork or chicken would probably be good, or tofu to keep it vegan or vegetarian. If your head is really stuffed up, increase the amounts of ginger, garlic, and hot pepper. You have my word that you’ll feel a lot better after a hot bowl of this soup.
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 to 4 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, finely diced, or hot pepper flakes
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 4 star anise
- 64 oz. broth, I use "Imagine" vegetarian "No-Chicken" broth
- 2-3 Tbsp Aji Mirin, rice wine
- 1-2 Tbsp Lite soy sauce
- 6 oz. Rice noodles or Ramen.
- 10 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 1/2 sweet red pepper, matchstick cut
- 2 Baby Bok Choy, sliced at about 1/4 inch, including leaves
- 1 cup snow pea pods sliced on an angle
- Bean sprouts (optional)
- Pre-cooked shrimp, chicken, pork or tofu (optional)
- Dice the green onions saving the green part for garnish.
- Saute the ginger, garlic, shallot, pepper and white part of the onion in oil over medium heat until softened.
- Add the broth, turn the heat to high, and add the 4 star anise, one- half of the Mirin and one half of the soy sauce.
- Stir and taste, adding soy sauce to get the proper amount of saltiness. The amount needed will vary depending on your choice of broth. Add more Mirin if you like it sweeter.
- Let the broth simmer fo about 10 minutes. Remove the star anise and then add the rice noodles or Ramen and all of the vegetables except the bean sprouts and green onions. Turn up the heat and bring to a low boil and cook until the noodles are done.
- Add the shrimp, pork, chicken or tofu if desired and heat through.
- Put some bean sprouts in the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup in.
- Everyone can top with green onions to their taste.
As stated in the description, you can vary most of the amounts and the ingredients according to your preferences. The key ingredients are lots of garlic and ginger and some type of hot pepper, so don't omit or skimp on these. Star Anise isn't essential, but it adds an exotic flavor profile. The Mirin and soy sauce give the broth it's flavor so don't omit those. I think the some type of mushroom is essential also, Shitake is good but you should probably saute those with the garlic, ginger and onions. Experiment with vegetable types and amounts. You could use carrots in place of the sweet red pepper. The protein is optional. I usually add shrimp, but any of the others or none is good.