Hot n' Sour Noodle Soup
Gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme dat, gimme dat souuuuup.
That’s a song I made up about soup because I just love it so freaking much. Luckily I live in a country where about a billion other people love soup too. Here in China, soup isn’t just reserved for winter, it’s alllllll year long. I’ll never forget when I visited Chongqing in June, a very hot and sweaty month in this part of the city, and hot pot restaurants were full of people. Dudes with beads of sweat, shirts pulled up over belly buttons, dipping chopsticks into the bubbly cauldron of ingredients to fish out their next bite. It was at hot pot that I first came across a chewy and delicious noodle, which just so happened to be made of sweet potato. Until recently, I didn’t know just what this noodle was exactly. I just knew I loved it and I wanted more.
I also have a penchant for the mixture of salty and sour. Salt and vinegar chips are my JAM. Throw some spice into the mix and you have something I will love for life and think about for days after I eat it.
The sweet potato noodles are fairly easy to find in local markets. They are gray in color and hard as a rock. They will need a bit of time to soak before cooking but they are totally worth it. Just make sure not to overcook because they will lose their wonderful texture.
This recipe is a vegan spin on a traditional Chongqing hot and sour soup. It’s quick and easy and if you add the spicy ingredients at the end, you can spoon some of dat soup in bowls for the kids first and they will love it!
PRO TIP-Make this an easy filling meal by adding some sliced seasoned tofu on top.
1 package sweet potato noodles
1 tbs cooking oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbs sliced scallions, white parts only (reserve green parts for garnish)
1/2 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs light soy sauce
4 tbs Zhenjiang vinegar
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1/2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
2 tbs chili oil
salt to taste
pickled vegetables of your choice
roughly chopped coriander
green parts of the chopped scallions
roasted peanuts (I used the spicy kind for an extra kick)
1. Place the sweet potato noodles in a bowl and cover with water, soak for about 30 minutes, until pliable.
2. Over medium-high heat, heat cooking oil in heavy bottomed soup pot. Add garlic and white part of scallions, cook for 3 minutes. Add whole Sichuan peppercorns and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Reduce heat as necessary so as not to burn the garlic and onion.
3. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add sweet potato noodles and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add soy sauce, vinegar, five spice, ground Sichuan pepper, chili oil and salt, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, making sure not to overcook noodles.
5. Remove pot from heat. Remove noodles from pot and place in serving bowls first, then spoon broth on top.
6. Add garnishes in whatever amounts you desire and slurp dat soup up! Enjoy!