*This is not a sponsored post. I am just addicted to Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch!
Working from home (WFH) can have its challenges but it has some nice perks as well. Being able to eat home cooked meals is one of them. I am the queen of multitasking at work and now in my kitchen as well while working. During listening-in-only virtual meetings (with the video off!), I get to whip up easy yet tasty dishes like this recipe that I adapted from New York Times Cooking. My simplified version of the Pork Noodle Soup with Ginger and Toasted Garlic is insanely tasty. (NYTC used the words “impossibly good”!) This takes about 30 minutes to make including prep time. If you have a jar of garlic chili oil or Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch and drop a tablespoon in this soup, you will hit foodie nirvana! If not, you can just fry your own garlic and add chili oil.
What is so great about this soup is that is so easy to make! I am literally face-planting in a bowl of this noodle soup in less than 30 minutes. (The part that takes the longest for me is grating about two tablespoons of ginger. I also save time by using TJ’s Chili Onion Crunch instead of frying garlic in oil.) If you have a decently stocked pantry, you will most likely already have the ingredients (except to go the butcher to buy the ground pork or chicken probably). Yes, you can use ground chicken or turkey in this recipe if you do not eat pork. And since coming across this recipe, I have made this soup 5 times already as you can tell from the pictures.
GARLIC CHILI OIL TOPPING
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil such as vegetable or canola
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chili oil (such as this) to be added later with the fried garlic as a topping
PORK GINGER NOODLE SOUP
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, plus more to taste
- Optional: 2 tablespoons fish sauce instead of soy sauce, more to taste. Using fish sauce instead of soy sauce makes this soup sooooo umami!
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (from about a 2 -inch piece)
- 6 ounces rice noodles or cellophane noodles, cooked and drained according to package directions
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: Shitake mushrooms, 1 cup
Instructions For The Fried Garlic in Chili Oil Topping
*Skip this if using fried chili garlic oil in a jar such as Trader Joe’s Chili Oil Crunch. I also found different brands on online.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium.
- Add garlic and cook in medium-low heat until nicely toasted and golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove garlic from the pot. *Watch the garlic like a hawk while frying. Garlic pieces are notoriously good at getting themselves burned! Do not answer that call or turn your back! (Speaking from experience! :/)
- Add garlic to chili oil. Mix and set aside.
Instructions For The Pork Noodle Soup
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
- Add pork and ginger to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 -8 minutes, breaking up into small pieces until the pork is browned.
- Add chicken broth, soy sauce (or fish sauce) and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. ( Taste and add more seasonings if needed.))
- Add shitake mushrooms (if using) for another 5 minutes or until tender.
- To serve, ladle soup over noodles and top with green onions, cilantro and toasted fried garlic in chili oil.
- I promise that this will be the last time I mention Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch on this post. I am so into it that I buy 3 jars every time I go to TJ’s which is every Friday. Lucky for me, I live just few blocks away from Trader Joe’s. If there is no Trader Joe’s where you live, I saw food bloggers online come up with copycat versions of this concoction at home such as from Become Betty blog.
- Use fish sauce instead of soy sauce. If you are not familiar with fish sauce, I bet you have already tried fish sauce if you had Vietnamese or Thai dishes. Fish sauce is a staple in many Asian cooking including Filipino food. Ignore the smell because once you add it to the dish, you will not smell it anymore and you will be in umami heaven.
- I have tried using either rice noodles or cellophane (also known as glass or bean thread) noodles in this soup. I love both. My fave is cellophane/glass/bean thread noodles because there is no boiling of the noodles involved. Just soak in hot water until soft then drain. Next time I will try to use spaghetti pasta.
- I am sure that ground chicken or turkey will be great substitutes for pork.