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Noodle Soup w/ Pork, Bean Sprouts, & Spinach inspired by The Ramen girl for Food 'n Flix

Can you imagine following your guy to a whole new country...much to his chagrin?  A country whose native tongue you do not speak.  A country in which you have no other friends, except said "guy".  And then he leaves.  And he doesn't think he'll be back.  Ever.  So you cry your crocodile tears and wake up alone in a strange country.  All alone.  In his apartment...that at least he had the decency to let you "keep".  The only thing is- you're determined to stay.  I mean...come on...he'll be back.  Right!?  Not even close.  But life goes on and you meet a friend or two.  You smoke your cigarettes and drink your Japanese live some semblance of a normal life...until something draws you in.  It's a scent...but it's not just a scent.  It's an aura.  It's an energy.  It glows!  Warmth and people and something're mesmerized.
Bowls of steaming Ramen...made from the hands and the soul of a Ramen chef.  The steam alone can fill your heart with joy and make you laugh uncontrollably at the first whiff.  One spoonful can make the tears free-flow straight from your heart and through your eyes...adding silent, salty drips into your bowl.  One bowl can   transport you twenty years back in time...leaving your chopsticks suspended, like memories, in mid-air.
The Ramen Girl is one of our two featured flicks this month over at Food 'n Flix (the other being Waitress) this month. I love The Ramen's a fun, foodie chick-flick that I won't ruin by giving any more away.  I was totally inspired to make a bowl of noodle soup...with broth, noodles, veggies, and meat that would transport me to another level.  Check it out...

Pork Noodle Soup w/ Bean Sprouts & Spinach
adapted from the Vietnamese pork noodle soup in Nigella Kitchen
makes ~4 svgs.

11 oz. Pork Tenderloin, cut into thin discs, then fine strips
2 Tbs. lime juice
2 Tbs. soy sauce
½ tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. fish sauce
8 oz. fresh Udon noodles
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
1 quart rich chicken stock or broth
6 oz. fresh bean sprouts
2 big handfuls baby spinach
jalapeños (red, green, or both), diced fine for garnish

Place strips of pork in a bowl and add lime juice, soy sauce, paprika and fish sauce and let stand no more than 15 minutes.

Cook the noodles according to package directions, ~2 minutes if using fresh Udon.  Drain.  In the meantime, heat chicken stock until boiling.

Heat a wok and add oil and garlic, stir around for a minute or so to infuse the oil with the garlic.  Add scallions and ginger and cook for a minute or so.  Tip in the bowl of pork with its marinade, stirring as you go.  Cook meat for another two minutes, then add hot broth and let the whole thing come to a boil.

Drop in bean sprouts and spinach and cook for another minute or two.  Divide noodles amongst serving bowls.  Use tongs to lift out the meat and veggies and divide them amongst the bowls, on top of the noodles.  Ladle the hot broth over the top and garnish with the jalapeños.

Prepare to get in touch with your soul.

*This post is also linked to:
Souper_Sundays2 prestopastanights SundayNightSoupNight
~Kirstin at From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours is Hosting PPN this week!
~WanderFood Wednesday