Thursday, January 26, 2012
My son likes Ramen - Beef Ramen to be exact. I think those little flavoring packets have some undesirable contents (although I'm not sure what they are). I wanted to try to make a beef soup that has an oriental taste and is brothy like the Ramen...but hopefully is healthier and tastes "better".
This is my attempt to mix up a soup that is similar to a Ramen soup or a Won Ton soup, but where the beef is cooked longer and is extremely tender as a result. I am going to add some strips of won ton noodle at the end.
When we went to a wonderful restaurant in South Austin, Hao Hao...an old family favorite...he ordered a noodle soup with Shrimp Won Ton and he loved it. I watched what he added and what he didn't...so I'll try to "sort of" recreate that, with beef instead of shrimp.
I had bought some beef chuck flat iron steak I had intended to dice up and add to my chili...and I never got around to doing that (only had a brief cold spell and haven't had any significant cold since then) so I pulled it out of the freezer to thinly slice and use in this recipe.
My secondary consideration was that I have a doctor's appointment today and wanted something I could leave in the slow cooker and I could then, when I arrived home, finish it off with some fresh ingredients. I got a new slow cooker for Christmas (mine was over 20 something years old) and I am anxious to give it a try. My old one was round and couldn't accommodate some of the rib, chicken, and flank steak recipes I wanted to try out. The new one is oval, matches my kitchen, and I'm happy, happy to have it! (Proof that my husband listens to things I say when we walk around and talk...he amazes me...he helped the teen get it for me for Christmas).
So, all of that said, here's the recipe I came up with.
BEEF NOODLE SOUP WITH AN ASIAN BENT
3/4 lb beef chuck flat iron steak, thinly sliced on the bias
1 can low sodium beef broth (I used Swanson's)
4 cans of water (using the beef broth 15 oz. can)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Roasted Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce
1 carrot - finely diced
1/4 large white onion, very finely sliced
1 package of ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packet)
20 pieces of refrigerated Won Ton noodles, sliced diagonally (if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't add this)
Extra Soy Sauce to taste
Prep the carrot and onion and set aside. Thinly slice the still-partially-frozen steak diagonally. I cut each piece in half long way so I ended up with bite size pieces. It is a very inexpensive cut ($2.50 for these two pieces) and tough as could be unless cooked long and slow.
Add the onion and carrot to the bottom of the slow cooker and top with the beef. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce on top of the meat. Add the beef broth and 4 cans of water and turn the slow cooker on low (with the lid on).
Cook for 5 hours and turn to Keep Warm setting (while I go to the doctor)
Upon return, put on high and after it begins to simmer (30-45 minutes), add Ramen noodles, and 5 minutes later add the won ton triangles (they got soggy - I wouldn't add them at all if I make this again). Allow to cook until desired tenderness of the noodles. Taste broth and add more Soy Sauce if desired (I did desire). Add fresh cilantro and squeeze half of the lime into the pot. Serve with Hoison Sauce and Duck Sauce and a lime quarter for each bowl.
This was a good beef soup. My son, however, thought it was too sour for his taste. He tried it but ended up opening a can of something and ate it for dinner. Oh bother.
I saved the leftovers for my hubby...we'll see what he thinks. I, personally, liked it a lot. The very marbled beef was tender as could be and very flavorful. The vegetables, thanks to the slow cooker, retained some firm, almost crunchy, texture, which I liked. I enjoyed the fresh burst of flavor from the cilantro (wish I'd had some fresh basil too, but all of mine died during our brief cold snap). Some fresh mushrooms would not have gone amiss either. I could feel the gentle heat of the Chili Garlic Sauce on the back of my throat. Yum.
I quite enjoyed just a small squirt of hoisin sauce and a blob of duck sauce added to mine after I'd had a few bites and decided it needed something more.
I guess the kid is still going to eat packets of Ramen with the mysterious packet of "flavor"...he's a teen-ager after all...it seems to be their thing.
Bon Appetit, Y'all!