Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lindsey's Shin Noodle Bowl

My daughter Lindsey is a big fan of the Shin Noodle Bowl and could easily eat them every day if I let her.   Shin noodles are a type of very spicy instant ramen.  Like any instant ramen it can be ready for consumption in, not 3, but more like 8 -10 min. (you do have to wait for the water to boil). 

What Lindsey loves about this instant meal is of course the instant part.  But what she craves is the spicy broth.  I always assumed that she ate the noodles and left the broth behind (that's what I do), but I was wrong.  I cringed the day I witnessed her drinking the broth, scolding her and telling her how unhealthy it was.  I could feel the sodium overload coming on!  That's when the shin bowl got the boot.

So I did a little research and came up with a substitute that makes us both happy.  A quick and easy, almost instant, spicy noodle bowl that is ready in about 15 minutes.  Yes there is a pot and a strainer involved with a little bit of prep.  But it’s certainly worth the effort.

Even though it only takes a few ingredients to make this soup, there are a couple of the main ingredients which may be difficult to get.  I have found that the soup soy sauce and red pepper powder can only be found in a Korean or well stocked Asian grocer, but it will be worth tracking them down.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how tasty this spicy noodle bowl is.  One bag of red pepper flakes and a bottle of soup soy sauce will make you many noodle bowls.

What is Korean Soup Soy Sauce?  A question I had myself when I saw it listed on several Korean recipes.  Thank goodness for the English on some of the bottles.  That’s how I discovered my first bottle.
**From: Maangchi web site, it described the Korean soup soy sauce well.

Soup soy sauce aka (soup)간장(soy sauce) is fermented less than traditional soy sauce. 
Its flavor is less intenseand color is not as dark. It will be labeled 국간장
This type of soy sauce is used to be added in soups and broths since the flavor is not as intense. I recommend Sempio.
If you are not too particular I would recommend using traditional soy sauce, but maybe a little less 
since its flavor is more intense.

This soup is quite spicy (at least for me, not for my daughter).  I know that when I dig into a bowl my lips will feel the tingly burn and occasionally the peppers will get caught in my throat causing me to cough.  This does not stop me.  I simply clear my throat toss back some water and continue.  That’s just how it’s done.  You are in control of how spicy you want to make your broth by adjusting the red pepper powder.

Truly there are many choices of noodles that you could use in this dish but Lindsey uses udon noodles which are probably the fastest noodles that you can make.  All you have to do to cook them is place the frozen udon noodles in a medium pot of boiling water and when they separate, they are done. I highly recommend that you buy the frozen udon noodles. They taste the best and have a firm chewy texture.  I don’t recommend refrigerated or dried udon noodles because they will get mushy very easily.
Seafood is optional.  Lindsey doesn’t add any to her noodle bowl but I like to dress mine up.
 I buy the big bag of what they called Seafood Melody at Costco which comes in handy when making soups and pastas.  It has muscles, baby scallops, calamari rings and shrimp.  If you choose to make a seafood version of this spicy noodle soup, add the frozen seafood at the same time as the udon noodles.  They will cook and defrost while the noodles separate and be ready all at the same time.

Lindsey uses one pot and a strainer to make this.  First she brings a medium sized pot of water to a boil and cooks her noodles, then strains the noodles and places them in a bowl.  She uses the same pot to cook the broth.  Then she strains the broth over the noodles to remove the red pepper powder.  She really has it down to a science.  I must admit, in order to make it fast and easy, I always have chopped garlic and green onions in the refrigerator ready for her.

1          tsp.                  oil
1/4       tsp.                 garlic, minced
1          tsp.                  green onions, chopped small (optional)
2          Tbsp.               Korean soup soy sauce
1          Tbsp.               Korean red pepper powder
1          14oz. can        chicken broth

Heat a sauce pot over med heat. 
Add oil, garlic and red pepper flakes; stir to mix. 
Add soup soy sauce and chicken broth.
Strain broth over noodles to remove pepper flakes.

1         serving                frozen udon noodles

To cook the udon noodles; bring a small pot of water to a boil; add frozen noodles; gently move around with a fork and when they separate they are done.  Strain and enjoy with the broth.

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