1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped (I used red bell pepper from a jar)
1.5 cups green part of leeks, chopped finely
4 cups potatoes, skinned and cubed
Water for boiling potatoes
4 cups water or vegetable broth, I used water
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice OR 2 teaspoons mango powder (amchoor powder)
1 tablespoon chili sauce or 2 teaspoons tabasco or Sriacha or to taste for heat
Salt to taste
Peel potatoes and chop them into cubes. Put them in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the pot to a boil (high heat) and then immediately turn down the heat and cook for about 20 minutes. If you cut the potatoes to the small size you see in the photo above, you won’t have to cook them the whole 20 minutes. Potatoes are done when they are fork tender but not mushy. Drain the potatoes, set them aside.
In a large pan, cook the onion in oil on medium-high heat until translucent. Add the garlic and all spices except mango powder/lemon juice. Allow the spices and garlic to cook for about 30 seconds, douse with water. Add the cooked potatoes, leeks, and red pepper to the pan. Cook about five minutes or until the potatoes thicken the broth and add salt to taste. Add hot sauce to taste. Add the lemon juice or mango powder last, right before serving.
Udon is the fastest meal in the East or the West. It is a street food in Japan. I like udon because the noodles don’t need cooking — they only need to sit in hot water long enough to separate. Even the frozen or dry ones don’t take very long.
2 packages dry, frozen, or refrigerated udon (I used refrigerated)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine, alternately, use any dry white wine and add a couple teaspoons of sugar)
2 tablespoons sake
1.5 cups green onions, chopped
Salt to taste
4 – 5 Gardein chicken tenders or 2 cups any vegetable protein (seitan, tempeh, smoked tofu) cut into bite sized chunks
Prepare veggie chicken by baking at 400 for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet. Turn over and let them cook for 5 more minutes.
Finely chop green onions and set them aside.
Mix broth, soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a pot on the stove and heat until nearly boiling on medium-high heat.
Remove noodles from packaging and drop them directly into the broth. Frozen or dry noodles will take up to 4 minutes longer than refrigerated ones.
If using refrigerated noodles, turn off the heat immediately. For frozen or dry, wait until the noodles are al dente.
Add onions and mix.
Top the soup with pieces of unchicken or other veggie meat.
This stew reminds me of Campbell’s Tomato Soup in a weird way. It’s sweet, hearty, and thick, definitely comfort food. My Korean friend Kimie Kim suggests putting ramen noodles or cabbage in it. I used cabbage.
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water
6 cups water
1 veggie broth cube or 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
2 tablespoons gochujang (spicy soybean paste sold in Korean grocery stores)
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 pound tteok (Korean rice cakes/mochi sold in the refrigerator section of Korean grocery stores, any shape)
1.5 cups chopped green onion
3 – 5 cups white cabbage (it will cook down)
3 green onions, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil or to taste
Salt to taste
Soak mushrooms for 10 minutes or longer, reserve the liquid. Add the mushrooms and bouillon cube or paste and the mushroom water to a pot of 6 cups of water and bring to a near boil and then turn down the heat to medium-high so it still boils but not robustly. Add sugar, rice vinegar, and gochujang. Taste test the broth and add salt or gochujang to taste. Add the Korean rice cakes and cook them for 15 minutes or until the rice cake is yummy, soft, and chewy, about the texture of a giant al dente noodle. Turn heat down to low and add cabbage and/or ramen noodles. Stir the cabbage until wilted or the ramen until just softened. Add green onion and sesame oil and serve immediately.