Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Spoonful of Sofrito: How to Make Your Own Cup O' Noodles for Lunch!

A Spoonful of Sofrito: A Pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life.
How to make your own Cup O'Noodles for Lunch!

Sofrito Lovers,

As you all know, I am a soup fanatic! Nothing is more soothing than a nice bowl or cup of soup on a cold rainy day, especially a nice homemade soup with veggies, noodles and a delicious protein.

I could never choose a favorite soup, yet one of my most frequently enjoyed soups is Vietnamese Pho. I love the beefy or chickeny broth with all the delicious herbs, spices and long rice noodles. It's very easy to make at home...or at work for lunch!

Below is a recipe for a Pho style cup of noodles you can bring with you to work and make there! I got this food hack from Food52.com and instantly tried it and loved it! I'm trying to find ways to make this work for a few other recipes as well! 

Try it, taste it, and ¡Buen Provecho!

 Southeast Asian Pho

After years of spending unthinkable sums on dry, under-seasoned sandwiches, watery soups, and disappointing salads made of sad, wilting leaves and little else, we decided enough was enough. It was time, we thought, to reclaim our midday break from its monotonous, financially ruinous routine and call it quits on using the phrase, "What do you mean you've sold out of artisinal cheese baguettes?" It was time to transform our lunches into something more than just an afterthought. And while we're firm fans of the lunchtime staple, the sandwich—be it a banh mi or open-faced number—there are some days when we want something that requires utensils but is work-kitchen friendly. This, however, can be a lot to ask for.

Work kitchens are not usually the stuff of cooking dreams. They are often barren spaces without so much as an unsoiled teaspoon with which to remove a tea bag from your mug, let alone luxe items like microwaves (or plates). Thankfully, given the addictive nature of caffeinated hot drinks, they do usually contain a kettle. If they don’t, then turn to your local coffee shop—most will give you a cup of hot water for a miserly fee, if not for free. This is where our just-add-water, desk-side pho comes in handy.

Think of our Southeast Asian Pho as a posh, customizeable Cup O'Noodles that takes advantage of seasonal vegetables and refrigerator leftovers. While we've provided our own recipe, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind if you prefer to branch out on your own:

  • Slice or peel vegetables as finely as possible—remember that you’re not simmering anything on the stove, and thinner vegetables will lose that raw crunch more quickly. A mandoline is a good and inexpensive tool to invest in: Just watch your fingers.
  • Choose any crisp vegetables: Courgette or carrot ribbons, thinly sliced red or yellow pepper, spring onions, leeks or mushrooms, baby sweet corn, baby spinach, sugar snap peas, and bean sprouts all work well.
  • Flavor your broth with things like sliced fresh chiles, lime wedges, lemongrass stalks, grated ginger, stock cubes, coriander, Thai basil, and mint.
  • Make sure you use a heat-safe container. A vintage glass jar may look pleasingly rustic, but it would be a minor lunch-based disaster if the addition of boiling water caused it to crack (we don’t even want to think about the health and safety implications). You don’t need to scald yourself in pursuit of a tasty lunch, we promise.

Serves 1

1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 red chile pepper, or to taste
3 scallions
1/2 yellow pepper
2 handfuls spinach
2 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
1/2 chicken or vegetable stock cube (or generous pinch of salt)
1 lime
1 handful fresh cilantro and basil

Photo by Mark Weinberg

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