Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spicy Bowl of Greens & Noodles

I'm obsessed with planning a last minute family trip. My criteria are - direct flight from Boston or Providence, warm, small person friendly, and affordable. I could spend days reading trip adviser reviews and looking at photos of hotel pools (conclusion - they all look the same). This trip may not even happen but perhaps just the idea of it is enough to get me through the endless string of 20 and 30 degree days. But beware, if I see you in the grocery store this afternoon I'll definitely ask for your advice on where to go.

In the meantime all is not lost - we are cooking and eating well over here. January is the season of light warming fare so here is a noodle bowl that perfect represents that theme. Maybe you're on a cleanse or just trying to shake off the Christmas cookies but in either case this meal is for you.

PS. This is a good weekend or after the kids go to bed meal as you want to take your time with the recipe.

Spicy Bowl of Greens & Noodles
From Susie Middleton's Fresh from the Farm
Serves 4

Kosher salt
8 ounces dried udon noodles
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine or sherry
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 4 ounces)
5 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic paste *this is where the heat is coming from so leave out for kids
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (sub vegetable if you'd like)
5 1/2 to 6 cups coarsely chopped Tuscan kale (aka Cavolo Nero, Lacinato) leaves (5 to 6 ounces after ribs removed, from one 9 to 10 ounce bunch)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions (all parts), for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. (They will be tender in a little less time than most package directions indicate.) Drain in a colander, rinse briefly, and let dry a bit. Transfer to a bowl and toss with a big pinch of salt and the sesame oil.

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, rice wine or sherry, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the ginger. Set aside.

In a large (5 to 6 quart) Dutch oven or other soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, creminis, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are well softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring frequently until the shallots and mushrooms are shrunken and lightly browned (the bottom of the pan will be brown, too), another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, chili-garlic paste, cinnamon, and the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, cover partially, and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the kale leaves, stir, cover partially, and cook until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the soy mixture, and stir.

Arrange the noodles in four large wide or deep soup bowls. Use tongs to arrange a portion of the kale in each bowl, then ladle the remaining broth and soup ingredients into each bowl, distributing evenly. Garnish with the sliced scallions and serve right away while very hot.


  1. I love mentally planning warm weather trips, too, Sarah! A favorite past time is to see where other people go-you might want to check out Cup of Jo since she focuses on small people friendly spots like this post: xo

  2. Ella - perfect link! Ahh okay now I'll just pour through these choices tonight - thank you! XO

  3. Great blog! Can't wait to explore. Beware of stock photos on hotel websites. The gorgeous pool photos may not be exactly what you get. Happened to me in Tennessee. Just a heads up!

  4. Thanks Shar! Good point about the stock photos - it's always better online right!?


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