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Indoor Rainy Day Comfort – the Slutty Broth

I fall into a hypnotic trance when i overlook a city drapped over by a wall of rain, it may be the sound of the thunderous water, the smell of fresh earth, the almost Gaussian blurred visibility or the taste of humidity in the air, all i know is that it never fails to soothe all my thoughts. It was raining for 4 days straight right before the weekend, and for those of you who do not live in the Philippines, when it rains here, it floods; so you can imagine how thoroughly relaxed and vegetative i was last week.

During those days i was transported back to an instance in my life; a determining moment, which defined my addiction for soup; to be more precise, the holy grail of soup: The Noodle Soup. When i lived and worked in Hanoi for a summer - as you all may know rainy season here is during the months of June, July - the old city charm would be overpowered by the downpour each and every day, making way for another different charming facet of the Vietnamese city, their Pho. I remember having to jump and dive through rushing motorcycles, from tarp to store, to arrive safely and wet at my favourite Pho spot. Sitting there, on a low plastic stool, by an old woman stirring up a broth that smelled like it had been cooking for hours, in front of piping bowl and filling it generously with chillies and limes, i knew that was where i was meant to be. There was something about the spice of the chilli, the brightness of the lime, the earthy meat taste of the soup, the smooth texture of the noodles and the hints of fish sauce and other subtle additions, that, just like the rain, all came together into a comforting symphony.

Noodle soup is particularly Asian, every country in this vast continent has their own variation: Japan with their Udons, Singapore/Indonesia/Malaysia with their different Laksas (the word actually means 10 000 – referring to the ingredients), the Philippines with their Mami, etc etc.. This is my personal go-to recipe during the rainy season, a bowl of perfect proportions, mesmerizing combinations and borrowing inspiration from all my favourite regional soup dishes (hence – slutty).

Tamarind Broth Coconut Noddle soup with Shrimp Cakes

Serves 1 very hungry person

Soup Broth

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 sliced red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of chopped lemongrass stalks
  • 3 tbsp of chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp of chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp of peanut oil
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp of shrimp paste
  • 4 tsp of tamarind paste
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  1. Mix all ingredient into a paste with the help of a grinder.
  2. Fry paste in sauce pan until slightly brown.
  3. add 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a roiling boil, until all ingredients are mixed well. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let the flavours build 30 mins.
  4. If you feel the broth has not enough taste, feel free to add some shrimp paste and/or tamarind paste as you taste.

Shrimp Cake

  • 10 cleaned, deveined and shelled shrimp
  • a handful of basil
  • 1 onion leek stalk chopped
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of canola oil (as needed to get the ingredients mixing better)
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  1. Bring all ingredients into a thick paste with the help of a grinder. And make them into 1 inch balls.

Additions

  • 1 small red onions finely chopped
  • chopped chives
  • 5 basil leaves
  • chopped coriander
  • lime slices
  • chilli flakes (as needed)
  • 1 handful of sayote tops (bottom parts disregarded) (or Chayote/Chouchou/Vegetable Pear in english)
  • 1 serving of rice noodles.
  • 2 kamotes (sweet potatoes)
  • 1/3 Cup Lite coconut milk (or fresh)
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  1. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes in 2 and place them in the broth, this will take 10 mins to cook in a simmer.
  2. Wash and cut your sayote tops and fry in light oil until crisp but tender.
  3. Place shrimp balls in the soup (this will take barely 4 mins to cook)
  4. Take 1 serving (recommended serving stated on the pack) of rice noodles and cook according to packaging instructions (usually 2-3 mins) in boiling water. then drain and cool with cold water, to make sure the noodles don’t bunch up.
  5. Add coconut milk + fish sauce to the broth before serving, stir and let get hot.
  6. Combine all of the above, enjoy and pass out.

Enjoy it!

The Fat Kid

18 COMMENTS

    1. Apple Reyes June 28, 2011 at 7:37 am

      Yummy soup soo oriental especially now it’s raining in here . I get to try to cook to my Vietnamese friend. Erwan req white truffle oil recipe aside from pasta. Thanks

    Reply
      1. Erwan Heussaff June 29, 2011 at 1:44 am

        i’m not a fan of truffle oil, i find it to artificial tasting, especially when it’s an essence. I prefer tartufata! try that on your pasta, you’ll go crazy

      Reply
        1. applereyes July 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

          thanks i will try that… can u make any appetizer recipe. thanks again more power to u :p

        Reply
    1. trexcy anne cahilog June 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      is ur bagoong that u used is sweetened or the regular ? :)

    Reply
      1. Erwan Heussaff June 29, 2011 at 1:43 am

        good question. Sweetened :) but you can use either

      Reply
        1. Faux Stepford Wife July 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

          Ahh I’m not well versed in bagoong. Is the sweetened kind the dark brown one or the pink one?

        Reply
          1. Erwan Heussaff July 14, 2011 at 1:44 am

            i used the dark brown unsweetened one, but either will work. My advice is always taste your ingredients since you are the one that’s going to eat the food, you be the boss of the recipe : )

          Reply
    1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

      We haven’t had rain in a month and just had a storm this morning. Guess it’s time for soup. Great recipe!

    Reply
    1. Charles June 29, 2011 at 7:45 am

      Thanks for dropping by my site Erwan – so happy I could discover yours! Your food looks so great. I’m a big chocolate fan and feel like a heathen for never having tried to make a fondant au chocolate, despite living in France so I’ll definitely be trying your previous recipe soon, and this soup looks awesome – chunky and flavoursome and herby!

    Reply
      1. Erwan Heussaff June 30, 2011 at 3:46 am

        Yes i used to live in Paris as well and menus were littered with great Fondants! the perfect afternoon snack with un cafe serre.

      Reply
    1. emily (a nutritionist eats) June 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Wow, this sounds absolutely amazing! I love asian noodle soups. :)

    Reply
    1. Cait's Plate June 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm

      Haha “Combine all of the above, enjoy and pass out.” – that cracked me up.

      This looks delicious – I adore asian noodles!

    Reply
    1. Caroline June 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      Wow, this looks amazing, I’m very impressed. Asian noodles are the best. We’re thankfully out of the June gloom phase of weather in CA, but that doesn’t mean I’m not tempted to make this!

    Reply
      1. Erwan Heussaff July 7, 2011 at 1:54 am

        it also works just cuddled up in a think blanket on a cool night!

      Reply
    1. seejimenez July 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      i love shrimps..wonder what this tastes like..:)

    Reply
 

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about THE FAT KID

I gained weight because of a sedentary lifestyle and overly indulging in foods I knew were bad for me, eating out too often, taking the easy route (microwavable dishes) and not caring what went in my body, before I knew it reached 240 lbs. I lost weight through pure dedication, tireless hours of hard work and yes, food. I cooked my way to fitness, making sure to only feed myself tasty well prepared dishes with all the right stuff, the perfect fuel, taking me down to 150lbs. Of course I indulge from time to time, as the fat kid still lurks inside of me; here you will find a little bit of everything for the sole purpose of sharing my passion for food and life.

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