Hello everyone, welcome to Kelly’s Kitchen. I am so happy you’re joining me today. Although fall has arrived, the temperatures in Athens this week have been in the high seventies. It’s been a very lovely fall so far. The warm sunny days haven’t deterred my cravings for brothy, savory soups though! So today, we are making Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Garlic.
This recipe is by Alison Roman. It appeared on the NY Times Cooking site about six months ago. I made this pretty much to the recipe, without many modifications. But I am already looking forward to making it again with a few tweaks and additions, which I will share as we go along.
Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Garlic
For the grated ginger, I use my zester, but you can use the fine side of a box grater too. Also, don’t bother to peel the ginger, it’s not necessary, especially since you’re grating it, the skin virtually disappears.
Also, a mandoline will give you nice even, thin garlic slices.
The recipe calls for one pound of ground pork, but I am going to cook off two pounds and remove about a pound of the cooked pork for something else. But first, let’s toast our garlic. You want to use a neutral oil, like vegetable oil or my favorite, grapeseed oil.
Let the oil get hot over medium heat, toss the garlic into the pot in a single layer, if you can. Stir them frequently so they don’t get too dark, otherwise they will be bitter. Just a nice golden color. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and lay them on a paper towel. If some get too dark, you can just pick them out.
Add your pork and the crushed red pepper flakes to the same pot you toasted the garlic in. Season with Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Brown the pork and break it up into bite size pieces as it’s cooking.
When your pork is browned, add your four cups of chicken stock, four cups of water, and three tablespoons of soy sauce. When I make this again, at this point I will add a tablespoon of Red Boat Fish Sauce.
Bring this up to a simmer and add half the onions and all of the ginger. Taste it to see if it needs more soy sauce, salt or pepper.
While it’s simmering, I got my water boiling in a separate pot for the noodles. The rice vermicelli only takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. Once the noodle water is boiling, turn off the heat, drop in the noodles, cover and set a timer for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, back to my soup. Now I add my spinach, and stir to wilt the leaves. I turned down the heat to very low and let it all come together.
When your noodles are cooked, strain them and I like to run cool water over them just to stop the cooking. The hot soup broth will warm them back up.
Let’s Plate Our Soup!
I like wide shallow bowls for noodle dishes like this, when I have a variety of toppings. I use about a handful of the rice vermicelli, and I just plop it into my bowl.
Then I ladled my soup over the noodles, making sure I scooped from the bottom of the pot to get a good amount of pork.
Then top with cilantro, remaining sliced onions and toasted garlic. I also added sliced red peppers for extra heat. My red peppers are actually Serranos that have turned red. But jalapeño or Thai chile would be good too.
In addition to adding fish sauce to this broth, I would also add a little rice vinegar or lime juice right at the end. While the store bought chicken stock is more convenient, next time I might make a richer stock with pork or beef bones. But ultimately, this recipe is an easy weeknight dish with great flavors. The fresh onion and toasted garlic really amp up the savory richness.
I love a brothy Asian-inspired soup any day of the year, but there’s something about the turn to fall when almost all I want to eat is soup! What’s your favorite fall dish to make? Let me know in the comments below!
If you like Asian noodle dishes, you might like my recipe for Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowls, it’s great any time of year! Thanks everyone for stopping by today, I hope you give this recipe a try. Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook too! Take care everyone, be well. xo Kelly
Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Garlic
- 3 tbsp Neutral oil like Grapeseed or Vegetable
- 8 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 1 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, more to taste
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 4 cups Water
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari, more to taste
- 1 Large bunch pea leaves or spinach, stems removed, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Finely Grated Fresh Ginger, from about 1 1/2" piece of ginger
- 6 oz Rice Noodles, cooked and drained
- 1/2 Medium yellow, white or red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped, stems and leaves
Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium.
Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the slices become nicely toasted and golden brown, 2 or 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic and set aside.
Add pork and red-pepper flakes to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up large pieces, until the pork is well browned and in small bite-size pieces, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add chicken broth, soy sauce and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or so, until the pork is very tender and the broth tastes impossibly good. (Give it a taste and season with salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes and soy sauce, if you want.) Add pea leaves, half of the onion slices, and all of the ginger. Stir to wilt the leaves.
To serve, ladle soup over noodles and top with remaining onion, cilantro and toasted garlic.