Tan Tan Noodles

Sorry there was no “Meal Plan Monday” post this week.  The plague pretty much hit my house.  Last week my hubby got his horrible cough checked out…turns out he has bronchitis…AGAIN.  My daughter got sick in the middle of the night last Wednesday.  We’re talking nausea (that’s always fun at 12:30 at night) and a fever.  She held a 102-103 fever for 5 days.  There were times when it dipped down to 99, but man, it’s been rough.  Then it hit me.  No fever or bronchitis.  But the awful cold, borderline flu has not been fun.  That means we’ve been a bit off over here.  If we’ve had an appetite, it wasn’t much.  The only thing that sounded good to me and the hubby was a big ol’ bowl of ramen or pho.  But, being in Boise, the options are a little limited.  Especially around our house.  I mean, there is a great place downtown, but hopping in the car with ALL OF US sick sounded awful.  And the idea of standing over a stove to do something complicated sounded awful.  So off to Pinterest I went.  And I found THIS RECIPE for Tan Tan Noodles.  The picture looked amazing.  The steps looked easy.  And, bonus, we have most of the ingredients on hand.  A quick trip to the store for like 3 things, and I was on my way to spicy broth and hot soup heaven.  

I, of course, made some changes to the recipe.  So here’s what I did.  Bonus, all the ingredients are available at the regular grocery store!  No random trips to an Asian market.  And, it takes less than 30 minutes to make.  That’s a win all around.

Soup:

4 cups of chicken stock

2 tablespoons garlic chili paste

2 tablespoons sesame paste (I used Tahini Paste from Trader Joe’s–I always have it on hand for hummus)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

salt and pepper to taste
Meat
1/2 lb ground pork

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1/2 tbsp chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 cup sliced baby bok choy

salt and pepper to taste

noodles of your favourite variety (I used ramen)
sliced green onions for garnish

Heat up the chicken stock and stir in the chili garlic sauce, sesame paste, soy sauce, and sugar. Taste and season accordingly. If you feel you need more of one ingredient or another, feel free to add them in. Keep the soup on a low simmer while you cook the meat.
In a small wok or frying pan, heat up the teaspoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat and add the minced garlic and shallots. Fry until fragrant, but not browned. Add the ground pork and cook until the pork is browned and there is no pink. Add the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Taste and season accordingly. Add bok choy and let wilt in pan for a minute or two.  It will wilt more in the hot broth later.  Remove from the heat and keep warm while you cook the noodles.
Cook the noodles according to the packaging and drain. Place the noodles in a bowl and top with broth and ground pork. Garnish with green onions and enjoy!

Here’s what the chili garlic sauce looks like.  It’s in the “Asian Foods” aisle at your grocery store.  

And here’s the finished product.  Looking at the picture, I’m making a mental note to learn how to take better food pictures.  It doesn’t look that appetizing, but I promise you it is.  Note: This is spicy…definitely clears the sinuses.  I love spicy, so I didn’t have a problem with it.  It was a bit spicy for hubby, but that didn’t stop him from eating everything in his bowl.  Just adjust your chili garlic sauce to suit your tastes.  

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