"There is no sincerer love than the love of food"
- George Bernard Shaw
- George Bernard Shaw
We experience a brief spell of spring in the UAE. Our markets are lined with locally grown fresh vegetables. I had brought some locally grown carrots, cilantro, chilies and some other goodies during one of my weekend drives to the Northern Emirates. The farmers cultivate fresh produce 8 month of a year. The vegetables are so fragrant, the carrots tastes earthy, the cilantro root had a sweet soapy smell, took me back to India were we buy all he vegetables from the local market.
This recipe is inspired by Corinne Trang, my Guru to mindful eating. I would like to request all my readers to buy locally grown ingredients from local farmers as much as possible.
The broth needs to be done with a lot of love and care and should just simmer as rapid boiling will give a cloudy broth. Salt the broth a second time just before serving. Please make sure you follow the techniques carefully. Happy Spring!
Asian Vegetable stock
carrot peel- 250g
shitake mushroom - 6 caps
celery stick- 50g
lemon grass- 2 sticks
cilantro root- 3 pieces
water- 1.5 liters
salt- a pinch (optional)
Assortment of vegetables
sugar snap peas
Thai red chili
scallion (spring onion)
rice noodles- 300g
Asian Vegetable Stock
1. Soak the shitake caps in warm water for 5 minutes, as it soaks the water, clean the gills of any fine sand particles.
2. Peel and Quarter the onions, wash them along with carrot peel. Bruise the lemon grass, and cilantro root.Cut the celery into 2 inch pieces.
3. In a stock pot place the vegetables, pour water and bring them to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Add a pinch of salt as it will bring out the goodness from the vegetables.Allow the stock to simmer for about an hour and strain. Keep on a gentle simmer.
Assortment of vegetables and rice noodles
5. In a pot of boiling water, add the rice noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes until the noodles are soft, drain and wash the noodles under running cold water. Place in a strainer and set aside.
6. Using the tip of your knife cut two small lines one at a slightly slanted angle to create a grove in the carrot, repeat the same process at equal interval two more times by rotating the carrot.
7. Thinly slice the carrots into flowers. Remove the shitake caps from the stock and slice them into juliennes.
8. Cut the baby corn in a slant, do the same to the scallions but make them fine and drop them into ice cold water so that they curl.
9. Slice the bottom of the lemon grass, thin with a slant.
10. Stem the sugar snap peas and cut them into diamonds.
11. Sliver the Thai red chilies in a slant, they should be wafer thin.
12. Remove the enoki mushrooms into small bunches and soak them in cold water.
13. Slice the lime into thin roundels.
Note: All the vegetables should be processed in bite sized cuts as the hot broth will just cook the vegetables and preserve their texture, flavor, nutrients and color
Use a sharp knife or a cleaver, this will help you to process the ingredients with precision.
Assembling the dish
In a bowl heap the rice noodles and place the vegetables and pour piping hot Asian vegetable broth, add a slice of lime, sprinkle a few droplets of toasted sesame oil, scallions, and a few sprigs of cilantro.
Sprinkle fried shallots and garlic and a dash of sambal Olek.
Tsing Tao or Jasmine tea depending on the company!