You'll be able to find most of the ingredients at Asian grocery stores. Some of the ingredients such as wood ear mushrooms and Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) may be new to you. Wood ear mushrooms contain protein and iron. This little known fungi is used in Chinese dishes, including hot and sour soup. It doesn't have a flavor, it just adds a chewy, slightly crunchy texture. TVP is a textured soy protein which has a meaty texture and, when used, takes on the flavor of the dish. TVP is rich in folate, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Creating a complex broth is the ultimate hack to a great noodle soup. This hot pot noodle soup will taste like you've spent hours on the broth, when really the whole meal takes just half an hour to put together.
- 2 tbsp Doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste)
- 2 tsp Soy sauce
- 1/2 Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 cup Wood Ear Mushrooms
- 1 cup Mushrooms
- 2/3 cup Potato Starch Noodles or Vermicelli
- 1 cup Soft tofu
- 1/4 cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) or faux meat (optional)
- 2 tsp Chili (optional)
- 1/8 cup Dried seaweed (optional)
- 1 cup Water
1. Soak the wood ear mushrooms, TVP, and seaweed in warm (not boiling) water. While they reconstitute, prepare the other ingredients. The wood ear mushrooms and TVP will be among the final ingredients added to the hotpot – just before the noodles. If you’re using seaweed, it will be the final topping.
2. Mince the garlic and slice the onion into thin pieces.
3. In a pot, combine the bean paste, garlic, onion, soy sauce and chili (if using) over medium heat. Once the garlic has become fully transparent (in 3 minutes or so), add 1/2 cup of water. This is the foundation of the broth.
4. Drain and thinly slice the mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, and TVP.
5. Cut the tofu into cubes.
6. Turn the heat up to a boil. Add the mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, TVP, and tofu. Let this boil for 5 minutes.
7. Add the noodles. If needed, add 1/2 cup of water to ensure that the noodles are just covered by the water. Turn the heat off. After 10 more minutes, it will be ready to serve!
8. Add the seaweed (if using) on top of your noodles for an extra hit of umami.
Hope you enjoy making this hot pot noodle soup!
To use up any leftovers, you could add rice to the broth to make a delicious savoury porridge for your next meal.
Please note, I used sweet potato starch noodles which are more delicate. These noodles complement a flavorful broth and allow the other ingredients to shine. That also means this recipe is gluten-free! Make sure to check whether your noodles are 100% sweet potato starch. If you don’t have these noodles, you could use vermicelli noodles/bean thread noodles as well. And if you’re not gluten free, you could always just use any noodles you have on hand. Ramen noodles, spaghetti or other pasta shapes could work.
Also by Debbie: Char Siu Roasted Cauliflower
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Photo: Debbie Tan