I’m not going to lie – this recipe was the result of a rainy, cold day and me needing and craving a satisfying but light soup to warm me up. Since I had some leftover Chinese BBQ Pork in the fridge and am currently addicted to Udon noodles, this soup was a natural choice. I hadn’t made this version before but being a lover of Pho I used that as inspiration and simply used what I had in the house. Even better I had homemade chicken stock in the freezer just waiting to be used in a dish just like this. I have to admit there is something really satisfying about using what you have and creating exactly what you were craving. This soup took no time to make at all and was absolutely perfect….The perfect pick-me-up for a rainy, cold September day.
Serves 2 generously (easily doubled)
750ml chicken stock (homemade or the best quality you can get)
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
3 slices of ginger
1 star anise
1 red chilli, sliced (remove the seeds for less heat)
2 or 3 lime leaves (fresh if possible but dried is fine)
1tsp fish sauce (or to taste)
200g packet of udon noodles
Leftover pork, shredded (or other meat of your choice) – as much as you have or want in your soup
Handful of sugar snap peas (approx. 100g), cut in half diagonally
Sprinkling of fresh coriander (optional)
Put the stock into a medium sized pan then add the garlic, ginger, star anise, red chilli, lime leaves, fish stock and a good squeeze of lime juice. Bring it to a boil then leave to gently simmer for about 5-10 minutes to let the flavours infuse the stock (you can leave it for longer if you like, it’s more about how much time you have, just don’t let it reduce too much).
Add the udon noodles and cook for a couple of minutes (or according to the time on the packet). For the last minute add the pork and the sugar snap peas and cook just long enough to warm the pork and slightly soften the peas. Taste to check the balance of flavours and adjust if necessary adding more lime or fish sauce as needed, then ladle into deep bowls and serve at once. Chop sticks are optional but they are perfect for slurping up the noodles!