The quest for the perfect noodle soup

If you are familiar with Tempopo -- the Japanese movie that tells of the quest for the best of all possible noodle soups -- then you can imagine perhaps what ails me.

I am a soup noodle junkie.If I eat out in an Asian restaurant I only order from their soup noodle menu.*

While I have logged here my engagement with the ubiquitous instant noodle soups of Asia, and especially my favorite Indonesian brands, I have now gone eslewhere for culinary satistfaction.

I did this because the main Asian brands are very high in fat and salt. While a packet may cost no more than 50 cents each, the noodles aren't of very high quality and the stock is a chemistry mix rather than made from real food.

Today I make my own by orchestrating a medley of ingredients. You'd be surprized how inexpensive this combination is.

Starting with 450 mls of water which I bring to the boil I add:
  • Prawns: I prefer the farm raised prawns from Vietnam which sell at approx $20 /kg frozen from Asian grocers. A bag of this parwn meat (shelled with tail on)will last me well over a month and there's no waste whatsoever.
  • Vegetables:I prefer brochochini and brussel sprouts, but the preference is your own.
  • Crushed garlic; ginger pulp or slivered ginger; chopped spring onions.
  • Continental Chicken Powdered Stock: one heaped teaspoon.
  • Fish souce &/or soya sauce to taste.
  • Herbs: fresh lemon grass, basil or coriander.
Then in a separate pot I boil, in about 600 ml of water, Hakabaku brand organic ramen or organic soba(buckwheat) noodles.[These are very cheap and available at most large supermarkets. They are superb quality and cost about $1.60 a pack of three individual serves]. Cook until el dente- for about 3 minutes.

Strain noodles. Place them in bowl and pour on soup. Add chilli or whatever.

This make up would cost about $2.00 to prepare.and take maybe 5-10 minutes. I have it every day for lunch. I do think the stock can do with some tweaking. But the challenge with soups like this is to make their construction simple and elegant

* Best soup noodles? Laksa from Sydney's Malaya restaurant. Pho beef soups from restaurants in Vietnamese communities -- Richmond, Inala, Marrickville, etc. Chinese soups vary even from day to day in some places so it isn't an easy call. Japanese soups aren't so easy to get except in those places that primarily trade in sushi.If they make a good sushi, try their soup.