Well folks, I think this is it – the winter that simply will not end. No really, I am starting to think it’s going to be cold forever. Every morning this week I’ve grumbled as I climbed out of bed knowing I was in for another “feels like -15C” morning walk with Maddy. Looking at the forecast ahead, I can’t help but cringe when I see the words “wet flurries” and “mixed precipitation.” Yuck, yuck.
The weather might be a little confused lately (hey mother nature, it’s spring now!), but one thing’s for sure, my soup cravings are coming on strong. I’ve only made Asian-style soups a handful of times, and each time I used a different noodle (rice, ramen, soba), a different meat (pork, shrimp and beef), and a different broth (chicken, beef and vegetable). Each version of the soup took on a very different flavour and texture despite being practically the same three ingredients (ie: noodles, broth, and meat).
And then I landed on this recipe. Beef broth, veal, and udon noodles. We made a connection. I instantly knew this was my favourite. The tenderness of the veal mixed with the chewiness of the udon noodle… delicious! To take it up a notch, I also included umami-rich mushrooms and a hard boiled egg. What I love most about this soup is the versatility; you can vary the amount of heat to your liking, as well as any of the ingredients.
Spicy Beef and Mushroom Udon Soup
The bite and chewiness of the asian udon noodles is perfectly complemented by the spicy and tender veal. Using a variety of vegetables, including fresh mushrooms, adds a lightness to the rich and salty beef broth. Top it with a hard boiled egg for a punch of colour!
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. thinly sliced veal
4 cups sodium reduced beef broth
1 tbsp garlic, ginger & chili (in a jar)
400 g Udon noodles
4 green onions chopped, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots, divided
1/2 cup bean sprouts, divided
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 hardboiled eggs
1. In a small bowl mix oyster sauce, honey, soy sauce, and pepper flakes. Place veal in ziploc baggy and pour over marinade. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
2. In a large pot, simmer beef broth with garlic, ginger and chili. Add in udon noodles, half of the chopped green onions, half of the carrots and half of the bean sprouts.
3. In a frying pan, cook marinated veal over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to pot of broth.
4. Using the same pan, deglaze with a splash of water and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release most of their moisture, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer to pot of broth.
5. Let pot simmer for 5-10 minutes, allowing for all the flavours to come together.
6. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, top with raw sliced carrots, bean sprouts and hardboiled egg. Makes 4 large servings.
What are some of your favourite soup ingredients?