Heyyyy! How was your holiday break? Have you gained 20 pounds from cookies? Do you feel rested and ready to take on 2018? I baked a billion cookies, a cake, and a dozen pineapple buns. Impressed my Grandma with my baking skills and she now believes I can actually cook. Watched Coco with my family and tried to not ugly cry in public the whole time (THE MOVIE WAS SO GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL). Started watching The Crown and got my brother hooked on Riverdale (it's so terrible but so good). It has been great!
I'm wrapping up my time at home and flying back to San Francisco tomorrow night. Leaving my parent's house is always so bittersweet. Whenever I go home I always feel like a part of me reverts back to my 18 year old self, which is good and bad. Back in San Francisco, I'm a real self-sufficient and independent adult that can take care of herself. But when I'm home, all of a sudden I melt into the couch and my mom takes care of everything for me! So grateful for her. As relaxing as my time at home has been, I'm ready to get back into my normal routine and to see Reuby again! I miss my tiny kitchen, too!
Since it is nearing the end of 2017, I guess it is a time for reflection and figuring out my resolutions. So here it goes...
1. Eat more vegetables and drink more water - Pretty basic, but after all the indulgence the last few weeks I'm contemplating going vegetarian for the month of January and sort of miss going to the gym... who am I?!!!
2. Cook more of the food that I love - that includes noodle soups, dumplings, and buns! I'm super proud of all the recipes I've cranked out this past year, but I feel like there was a severe shortage of noodles and dumplings. Gonna change that.
3. Don't let Instagram get to me - To be honest with you guys, I've been developing a lot of anxiety while scrolling through Instagram. It wasn't always this way. But lately, I feel myself comparing myself to other accounts, feeling insecure, and unsure of what I want to share with the world. I don't like feeling that way, so I just have to keep reminding myself that we all have our own story to share and that the point of Eat Cho Food is to cook food that I love! Resolution #2, ya know??
4. Visit my family more - It gets harder and harder to be away from my family each year that I am away. So I've been trying to squeeze in more trips home every year. I'll be working on a project in Chicago the next few months, so I'm hoping to make some weekend trips from Chicago to Cleveland work out! Need to bake some more buns with Cho Momma!
5. Connect - This is a constant resolution for me. But I always want to work on my connections with people. Reuben. My family. My friends. You. It's hard when people are scattered around the world, but it brings me a lot of joy to connect with a far away living friend, even if it is a short phone call!
For my last recipe of 2017, I'm sharing my favorite comfort food. Noodle soup. I crave it when I'm sick. When I'm sad. When I'm tired. When I feel like celebrating. Heck, all the time! My mom can make a mean noodle soup out of anything. The random ingredients left in our fridge. Or the leftover pot roast that needs to get eaten up. This noodle soup has a super rich and deep broth made up of shiitake mushrooms and beef. The mushroom broth is made by steeping dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water. You can get dried shiitake mushrooms at most asian supermarkets. If you're soaking mushrooms for a stir fry or a non soup dish, never throw away the broth, it's way to valuable to waste! Freeze and save it for the next time you need some quick soup! This noodle soup is nourishing and comforting. After all the cookies, cakes, and meaty feasts, this is the perfect simple bowl of food to start your new year off with!
Happy New Year!
Shiitake Mushroom and Beef Noodle Soup
10-12 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 cups boiling hot water
4 cups beef broth
3 cloves garlic
1 small white onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper - or more to taste
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 package of rice noodles - prepared according to packaged directions. Leave noodles in a strainer and tossed with a bit of oil to keep the noodles from sticking.
1 ribeye steak
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp oil
* You can make this vegetarian by swapping out the beef broth for vegetable broth and the steak with tofu or bok choy.
Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a heat proof container and pour boiling water over them. Make sure the mushrooms are submerged. Cover with a lid or plate and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the mushrooms to soften and steep to produce your mushroom broth.
Combine the steak with oyster sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp white pepper, and oil in a bowl, container, or ziplock bag. give it a good mix and allow the steak to marinade for 20-30 minutes, while you prepare your soup.
Thinly slice the garlic cloves and chop the green onions. Peel and slice the white onion in half and then thinly slice into crescents. Set aside.
Once the mushrooms have soaked, remove the mushrooms and either cut them in half or leave them whole if they are small enough. You can also slice them if that is your preference. Strain the mushroom broth through a fine mesh sieve to catch any grit. Set aside the broth and the mushrooms.
Add the beef broth, mushroom broth, sliced garlic, onions, white of the green onion, salt, white pepper and dark soy into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the mushrooms and bring the heat down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust flavorings according.
To prepare your steak, add a bit of oil into a skillet and bring up to a medium high heat. Sear the steak for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Cook for longer if you prefer your meat cooked more well. Remember that the heat of the soup will cook the steak a little more. Place the steak on a cutting board and allow to rest for 3 -5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak.
To assemble the noodle soup bowls add a bundle of cooked rice noodles into a bowl. Place a few slices of steak on top and ladle your soup over the noodles and steak, making sure the grab a few mushrooms. Garnish with the green onions and enjoy!