One of the joys of having a cooking a blog is interacting with cooks from all over the world and one of my favorites is Tes from Thailand because I have been able to get all the ingredients and try try her recipes. And I can’t wait to find my Indian spices so I can try some of Monica’s recipes.
My first shot at Thai was with Dagny in a hotel room where we did a stir dry chicken in my coffeepot which was quite good. My next shot was a chicken and ginger stir fry which was fantastic so when Dagny asked if I had any recipes that highlighted Chines five spice blend, I immediately thought of Tes’ Beef Noodle Soup. Seems Dagny had purchased some five spice blend and tasted it raw and wasn’t positive she would like an entire meal flavored with anise. Since anise is the strongest flavor in the five spice blend, the soup would be a good test of her family acceptance.
Now the funny thing was, we had all the ingredients for the soup except for rice sticks which I can only describe in the hands of a man who never tasted Thai food before a few years ago as good to eat but very weird to cook. Seems these noodles are to be deep fat fried for about 3 minutes at very high temperature. I couldn’t believe I would have to waste three cups of cooking oil to make noodles so I just put a couple of noodles in the bottom of an oiled pan and threw them in. In about seconds the ones that touched the oil uniformly expanded like popcorn and were light and delicious. The portion that didn’t touch the oil had the taste and texture of cat gut from an old tennis racket and was pretty much inedible. Since my daughter is not set up to deep fat fry, Dagny suggested we use angle hair pasta which she knew I had cooked and could be added to the coffeepot and cooked thoroughly in about 6 minutes.
We ended up using the coffeepot because, believe it or not, there was no other reasonable way to make a moderate quantity of this soup. Seems, Dagny had Kenpo martial arts training at 10am at one dojo and her kids and husband had to be at another dojo at 11 am. I was not staying home to watch a hot pot when I could go to Starbucks at 10 am and get a good cup of regular old fashioned coffee.Dagny had to leave for a baby shower at 12 and the kids would be home and ready to eat at 1 pm. I make many soups so adapting this to my coffeepot and using angle hair pasta was not tough for me.
Tes’ Beef Noodle Soup
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 onion chopped to medium pieces
2 cloves garlic minced
1 ½ stalks celery rough sliced
6-8 oz of leftover porterhouse steak (200 grams)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ heaping teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
4 cups water 8 oz.
Mis Ana loves to use a sharp knife and will help cook all day long if you let her use a sharp knife. Chopping the onion and celery is now routine and she has not cut herself, yet.
The oil was added to the coffeepot along with the chopped onion, celery and garlic and sautéed while I chunked the meat into half inch pieces and added it to the pot. All the rest of the ingredients were added with about half the water. The pot was covered with foil and we left for coffee and the dojo.
Dagny was in a hurry to leave for her baby shower so I rushed to finish the soup so she could try it. I added the other two cups of water to the coffeemaker and let it perk into the concentrated soup. A ½ inch circle of Angle hair past was broken in half and added to the pot. After six minutes, Dagny got her bowl and loved it and she decided she would never run from 5 spice again.
Fortunately, her husband Carson also loved it as did Cayla my oldest granddaughter. Only Miss Ana, my apprentice cook found the taste of the szechuan pepper too spicy. Of course Cayla uses hot sauce on everything and Ana runs from spicy foods. Well Tes Beef Noodle Soup was a hit even if we did use angle hair pasta instead of rice sticks.