Happy Chinese New Year

That’s right…today we embark upon the Year of the Dragon, so to commemorate that I thought it best to highlight some Asian cuisine this week.  Of course, today’s recipe comes from Rachael Ray, so I will not call it authentic, but I WILL call it delicious.  It seems that most foodies have strong opinions about Rachael Ray, so I apologize if you hate me sharing her stuff!  Personally I will probably never understand how she got her own talk show, as I prefer watching her cooking show on mute, but she does have a lot of good go-to recipes.

Anyway, as a general rule the Chinese are a very superstitious people with many traditions upheld to bring good luck, and others to avoid bringing bad luck.  The New Year has many such traditions, and one way to bring yourself good luck throughout the coming year is to eat noodles.  Noodles are actually a symbol of longevity, so I felt it double appropriate to highlight noodles this week since longevity is what this blog is all about (not to mention the meaning of the character up there on the right!)

Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps (a couple of cups), sliced
  • 1 medium bok choy, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut into sticks lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup seafood stock, available on soup aisle or 1 cup clam juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound vermicelli (thin spaghetti)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces, then shredded lengthwise into thin sticks

Directions

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and bok choy, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and seafood stock or clam juice. Put a lid on the pot and bring soup to a boil.

Add shrimp and noodles and cook 3 minutes. Add in scallions and cook 2 minutes, then turn off soup and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes more. Adjust salt and serve.

**Rachael says this serves four, but I’m scaling this nutrition info to six portions, as we eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of her monster portions.**

Also, to make this a little healthier, just use 1 tablespoon of oil while cooking the vegetables, you definitely don’t need 3 in my opinion!

NUTRITION: Calories 301 / Fat 11 / Carbs 28.5 / Protein 37.5 g / Fiber 2 g

If you are in need of a little more luck for this year than you feel noodles can provide, eat some tangerines, dumplings, whole fish (yes, head and tail included!!), and spring rolls.

Gongxi Facai!

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