I didn’t have to go in to work today so I made a hot lunch. I like cold foods, but as a general rule, I prefer hot foods. So hot lunch it was, with a bunch of leftovers. Leftovers are great for stretching out your week and, if you ever get bored of the same dish, it’s so easy to recreate them – they’re already cooked and spiced, cutting down on prep time and retaining flavor. Sometimes, I like to add more flavors, so the already existing flavors add to the new ones creating complexities that weren’t there before. My roommate Rosh and I constantly joke about how much better our food tastes, just from qualifying as being ‘leftover.’
Basic ingredient list for this recipe:
- Instant (near instant) noodles
- Extra veggies (optional)
- Broth (leftover broth is fine)
I saw a huge package of organic Japanese sōmen on sale at H-Mart so I picked a package up. Originally I had been looking for ramen noodles on sale, but seeing that this gave more bang for the buck and was healthier (and organic!) I decided to go with the sōmen instead. Sōmen are fine wheat noodles that are usually served cold and cooks fast – at 3 minutes you should be done. I cooked it a little longer, not for taste, but simply because I wasn’t watching the stove, but it was fine, if slightly overdone.
I cooked the noodles in boiling water, then pulled the noodles out and dumped the water (it starts to become starchy, so you don’t want that).
Noodles in a hot, brothy soup are a favorite go-to for me. I grew up eating this after-school as a ‘light’ meal before dinner (we had late dinners). Usually it consisted of a type of noodle. It was typically ho-fun, a clear, flat starch (usually made of mung bean) cellophane noodle – not as thin as vermicelli, but more like fettucine in diameter. Fast, economical, and flavorless – but ready to take on whatever flavor you put it in, it was perfect for broth based dishes. I liked it most for its texture.
Along with the noodles, there were usually a few pieces of greens and meat of some kind. Since I had a big bag of baby Shanghai bok choi, I boiled three in a little leftover chicken broth/ramen package of spice I had left over, then poured the flavored broth over the noodles.
Meanwhile, I cut up half a chicken thigh leftover from yesterday and heated that (and two bites of carrot) in the microwave. Mind you, the chicken tasted good cold and would be perfect sliced and rolled into a burrito.
I didn’t need the tomato, and you would never find a cherry tomato in one of those Chinese noodle bowls (though you may find a cherry tomato in a Japanese one – I don’t know how often that happens, but I’ve had it before). But then, I decided to throw one in, for good measure.
So easy. You can easily do the same with some other noodle. Gotta love ’em leftovers.