Saturday, December 6, 2014

Udon noodle bowl with five-spice pork & shitake mushrooms


My whole family loves this satisfying, slurpy Asian noodle bowl...so warming & delicious on these chilly nights.  The pork balls are amaze balls & so gratifying with the udon noodles, bok choy and shitake mushrooms.  

It's kind of like the Asian version of spaghetti and meatballs, but with some chicken soup mixed into it.  Obviously this meal = major comfort food.  If you like some heat, top it off with a little Sriracha or sambal oelek before serving.

Serves 4-6

Pork:
1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
1 1/2 t. minced ginger
1 t. minced lemongrass
2 t. soy sauce
1 t. fish sauce
2 t. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 t. Chinese five-spice
1 egg - beaten
1/2 c. breadcrumbs or panko
1 t. vegetable oil

8 c. chicken broth

2 T. soy sauce
2, 4-inch pieces of lemongrass - bruised
1 3-inch piece of ginger cut into 4-5 slices
8 oz. shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
8 oz. udon noodles
4 c. packed chopped baby bok choy


Sriracha or sambal oelek (optional)

In a large bowl, combine pork, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, five-spice, egg and panko.  Mix together using hands to combine ingredients thoroughly.  Form into 24-26 one and a half inch balls.

Heat one t. vegetable oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Cook meatballs until nicely browned and cooked through, about 8-9 minutes, stirring to brown evenly.  Remove from pot and wipe out excess oil with a paper towel.

Add chicken broth, soy sauce, lemongrass, and ginger slices to pot and heat until simmering.  Add pork balls and mushrooms and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove ginger slices and lemongrass. 

Add udon noodles and cook as directed on the package.  Do not overcook, or they start to get mushy & fall apart.  Add bok choy and simmer 1-2 minutes more.  Serve topped with a little Sriracha or sambal if you want a little spice.


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