About 10 years ago I started travelling frequently to the Far East as part of my buying role for an international company. These trips were exciting and exhausting in equal measure as I travelled for hours and hours on bumpy roads to visit the factories I was working with, visiting trade shows and meeting suppliers at their showrooms.
Part of the challenge of working out in the Far East is the food that you are offered. Most of what I was offered was really delicious and the team that I worked with in Hong Kong were endlessly amused with my antics of trying to eat small slippery things with chopsticks. Some of what I was offered tested my good manners to the extreme and I finally drew the line at chicken feet salad which they saw as a delicacy. The joke in Hong Kong was that they had cut the nails for the westerners!
One night our team was taken to a beautiful Thai restaurant and everyone decided that we should try the Hot and Sour soup. I was a bit nervous as I really can’t handle much chilli however I was persuaded that the soup would be refreshing rather than too hot. Well they lied. This was the hottest food I had ever tried to eat. When I got back to my hotel that night my tummy was actually red from the heat from the soup. I’m sure I was practically glowing in the dark!
When I got home I started experimenting with creating my own tame version of this soup as I had loved the idea of the flavour combinations. And so this recipe was born and it has now become a real favourite of mine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Asian Inspired Pak Choi and Salmon Soup
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2cm of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- 1 salmon fillet, skin removed and chopped into 3cm cubes
- 1 head of pak choi, base cut off and then the leaves chopped lengthways
- 2 handfuls of fresh spinach, stalks removed, then rolled together and cut into thin strips
- 100g of rice vermicelli noodles, broken into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon of Tamari
- Heat the olive oil gently in a large pan
- Add the garlic and sweat gently until soft
- Add the ginger and cook gently for another 3 minutes
- Add the spring onions and cook slowly until they have softened a little. You still want them to be quite firm so this will only take a few minutes.
- Pour in the stock and allow to simmer
- Add the cubed salmon
- When the salmon has turned colour (this will only take about 2 minutes) add the pak choi, spinach and rice vermicelli noodles
- Simmer the soup gently until the greens and noodles have softened.
- Taste and season to taste with salt and black pepper