Friday, 1 June 2012

Cambodian Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup

Welcome to another month on Gormandize with A-dizzle & K-bobo! Today is a pretty exciting day for me - because today we finally leap off the continent and explore Asia! If you're not already aware, every month I feature a country requested by you and post lots of yummy recipes that that come from or are inspired by that country - in a vegan version. If you think this is pretty awesome and want to request a country then jump onto this page here to request a country. Cambodia was requested by a reader called MishLich and I am so thrilled that they suggested Cambodia! So far we have featured Croatia, Chad, Bosnia, Iran and Scotland - which is a nice mix of continents but lacking in Asia (and South America! But that doesn't seem to be very popular in people's suggestions for some reason!), so I'm very excited to get to be able to explore Cambodian food!

I'm pretty all up in Asia. For two reasons, firstly because I'm a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and because I lived in China for a year studying and travelling. Secondly because Asia is close to Australia, it makes for excellent cheap travelling. I have been to China, Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and Mongolia and in July I will be heading off for a trip to Sri Lanka (which I can't even tell you how excited I am about!). But sadly I haven't made it to Cambodia yet. However, after looking at all the delicious food that is going to change soon because researching this country's cuisine actually made me plan a trip to Cambodia - it just sounded that good!

I'm starting off the month with this delicious Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup. Cambodian food it all about perfectly combining flavours - hot, sweet, sour, spicy and salty all combine in the right amounts to make a fresh, fragrant and tangy dish. The hot and sour in this soup is quite mild, but you could boost it up by adding more chilli and more lime juice. It also literally takes 15 minutes to make, so is the perfect quick meal. I made this for our lunch yesterday. Initially I was worried that it wouldn't be filling enough, but the mushrooms and noodles were very substantial. It was the perfect quick and healthy lunch!

2 x 100g cakes dried bean thread vermicelli (also called glass noodles or cellophane noodles)
5 cups hot vegetable stock
150g oyster mushrooms
3 kaffir lime leaves, bruised and torn in half
2 long red chillis, chopped into about thirds (you don't have to eat them, just adds the hotness to the broth)
1 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
Fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve

To Make
1. Soak the noodles in cold water for 15 minutes (they won't be cooked after 15 minutes, but they will be softened).
2. Wash the oyster mushrooms and slice them.
3. Combine all ingredients except the noodles  and coriander in a pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes (while your noodles are soaking). You can taste the broth and add more chilli, lime or soy sauce to taste.
4. Divide the noodles amongst two bowls and top with the mushrooms and broth. You can either remove the kaffir lime leaves before serving or serve with them and instruct whoever you are cooking for not to eat them. The big chunks of chilli the same, although you can eat them if you want! (My partner ate them). Garnish with chopped coriander.

Serves 2.

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