Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Shrimp
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It's April! The month of spring showers and soon-to-be-flowers. The first two days have sure lived up to all that they were cracked out to be. Chicago has been hit with rain. Not a lot, although I sat at work today secretly wishing a giant thunderstorm would come forth and fill the dark skies with lightning bolts. It didn't quite happen as such.

My move into the city has brought back one little joy into my life...Trader Joe's, or TJs as I prefer to call her. Yes, despite the name, I like to think of TJs as a female. She feeds me when I am home. She spoils me with iced coffee concentrate. She knows that some nights there is nothing better than a heavily poured glass of 2-Buck-Chuck! So, hence forth, you may pretend that TJs stands for Trader Josephine's. The negative, yet irresistibly delicious, downside to shopping at TJs? I am finding that instead of cooking homemade meals on my own, I am enjoying Lamb Vindaloo and Orange Chicken with 3-minute Organic Brown Rice. Delicious, yes, but how the hell is your need for new posts to be fulfilled if I am shoving my face with Trader Joe's deliciousness? vietnamese noodle soup with shrimp

As you are all well aware, I like a challenge. I will pick the difficult recipes to make. But why can't we have something delicious that is quick and easy? Those were my exact thoughts this afternoon as I sat in the wonderful land of cubicles making phone calls. I was already exhausted by 2:00, the last thing I'd want to do when I got home was slave over a dinner for one. If there was a special lady, or even a roommate to share the meal with, perhaps things would have been different. With a little internet inspiration, I found a recipe and made a few tweaks of my own. After a quick stop at the local grocery store, I got home a popped open a bottle of Brooklyn Lager, a friendly nod to my former lover, NYC, and whipped up this delicious meal. Adding the sriracha to the soup adds a little kick that puts it over the top. I would absolutely make this again, perhaps trying different meats.

As I am sure many of your lives are, things are about to get rather hectic! All of my own doing, of course. That being said, if it means I stay awake until the wee hours of the night, you will always receive your dose of culinary SMAK!

Until next time...happy eating!

Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Shrimp

Ingredients: 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth 2 cups water 1 tablespoon agave syrup 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger 1 tablespoon soy sauce two 8-ounce packages shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained fresh juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges, for serving salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 pound small shrimp, deveined, de-shelled, without tail 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 1/2 cup chopped basil 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 1/4 cup chopped scallions 1 cup mung bean sprouts Sriracha or other garlic-chile sauce, for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock with the water, agave syrup, grated ginger and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Using tongs, transfer the noodles to bowls. Add the shrimp to the noodles and ladle the hot broth on top. Drizzle with the sesame oil and top with the basil, cilantro, scallions and bean sprouts. Serve with lime wedges and chile sauce.