This is a fast, healthy, slurp-y, easy kind of dinner. The kind of dinner you want (and know you really should have) when the weekend is in it’s last few hours, and you’ve spent all of Saturday and Sunday eating things like cronuts (still don’t really get the point…), a bounty of cheeses, pancakes, fancy peanut butter and triple chocolate ice cream. My absolute favorite holy trinity of spring onion, chillies and coriander serves well in this one-pot meal, taking the light, porky broth to thoughts of “man, this must be good for me”, and a renewed declaration of love for all things coriander-related. I feel like I’ve redeemed my weekend calorific sins, onwards and upwards to a fab week ahead!
Pork, Tofu and Vermicelli Noodle Soup
2 lemongrass sticks (white part only)
A 5cm piece of ginger (skin removed with the back of a teaspoon)
150g bean vermicelli (or glass noodles)
100g lean pork mince
200g silken tofu (drained and cut into small-ish cubes)
150g gai lan (or any other leafy green, tough stalks removed)
2 spring onions (most of the green and bottoms removed, finely sliced)
1 small handful of coriander (stems and leaves, finely chopped)
3tBs fish sauce
1tsp dark soy sauce
2 small chillies (finely chopped)
1tsp sesame oil
Next, cover the vermicelli noodles in some just-boiled water for about 5 minutes. Drain and divide up into your serving bowls.
Mix the dark soy sauce, a bit of salt and pepper in with the pork mince and set aside to marinate briefly.
Blanch your green vegetables in the simmering stock for about 2 minutes. Drain and arrange over noodles. Arrange the tofu cubes in your bowls, the tofu doesn’t need cooking, the hot stock which you’re about to pour over will warm the pieces through just fine.
Next, cook your pork mince. Place half the mince in a ladle and swish around in the hot stock. Break up the mince with a spoon or some chopsticks and continue to cook until done (about 1 minute). Drain and place over the noodles. Repeat for the second lot of pork mince.
Drizzle 1/2 a teaspoon of sesame oil over each serving of the pork mince. Discard the lemongrass and ginger. Ladle hot stock over the tofu till the noodles are covered.
Divide the spring onions, coriander and chillies over your hot soup bowls and serve immediately.
I may have failed to mention earlier that I have just popped a batch of cinnamon and almond brioche buns into the oven. Oh well, one can always try again next time….