Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup

I’ve been making a lot of “spoon-required” dishes lately, and today I thought I’d share one of my new favorites and a huge hit at my most recent dinner party…Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup!

Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup

This soup is another “concoction” {as I like to call it} developed out of a desire to recreate the amazingness that is the 30+ ingredient broth in Noodles & Company’s Thai Hot Pot and to incorporate the organic udon noodles Island Boy and I recently discovered at Costco. After chopping nearly every vegetable I had in the house, throwing them into a pot and adding a tablespoon of this and a dash of that 5 times over, I surprisingly ended up with a very tasty soup that is a true fusion of Japanese, Chinese and Thai elements.

Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup

I had searched for a recipe like this, but everything I found seemed very bland. My first attempt at this soup contained a broth with just chicken stock, coconut aminos (a soy sauce substitute), rice wine vinegar, and ginger, but it came up short in flavor. So I started adding familiar ingredients one by one and tasting it before adding another until I had the perfect balance of spicy, sweet and earthy qualities. I wholeheartedly believe the secret to this soup is the sweet symphony of flavors created by this specific combination of ingredients, but if you are not a fan of a particular ingredient…by all means, leave it out. I have a newfound love of Chinese five spice, and although a little bit goes a long way, I think it single-handedly added a complexity that raised this soup to the next level.

Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup

Although the list of ingredients may seem long, anyone who cooks much Asian cuisine should have most of them in your pantry/fridge—they are all part of my standard arsenal. The udon noodles I found at Costco are the refridgerated kind (Annie Chun’s organic), so they don’t really require much “cooking”, which saves a lot of time! Even though there is still some time involved in prepping all of the vegetables and shrimp, this soup really comes together in a flash, and it tastes like it took all day! It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and as with many soups…it gets better as the flavors continue to combine. So make enough tonight to have leftovers tomorrow—your tastebuds will thank you.

Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup

Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup
Serves 6
A hearty Asian soup with the perfect balance of spicy, sweet and earthy flavors
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb tiger shrimp (approx. 16-20), deveined and shell removed
  2. 2 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce (divided)
  3. 1 garlic clove, crushed/grated into paste
  4. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  6. 1.5 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated (about a 1.5 inch piece)
  7. 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced and cut into 1" pieces
  8. 1 large carrot, julienned or chopped small
  9. 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  10. 2 medium shallots or 1 medium red onion, diced small
  11. 1.5 cups shiitake or maitake mushrooms, sliced
  12. 4 cups seafood stock (or low sodium chicken or vegetable stock)
  13. 2 tsp coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
  14. 1 tsp rice wine vinegar (I used Eden organic brown rice vinegar)
  15. 1.5 Tbsp shiro miso paste (I used Eden organic)
  16. 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (or sambal paste)
  17. 2 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut crystals
  18. 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  19. 1 Tsp Chinese five spice seasoning
  20. 2 cups kale or bok choy, stems removed and sliced into strips
  21. 12 oz freshpak Japanese udon noodles (I used Annie Chun's)
  22. 4 green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2" pieces (more for garnish)
  23. Black pepper, freshly cracked
  24. Celtic sea salt
  25. 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving (optional)
  26. Cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Put shrimp in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, then add 1 clove of crushed garlic and 1 Tbsp of Thai sweet chili sauce and mix to coat shrimp. Cover and let marinate in fridge until you're ready to cook them (about 10 minutes).
  2. In a stock pot, heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallots/onions, bell peppers, carrots and jalapenos, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly until vegetables begin to soften (about 2 minutes). Then add ginger, garlic and mushrooms and cook another couple minutes, stirring constantly, until the shallots/onions start to turn golden brown. (The goal is to not fully cook the tougher vegetables so they still have a little crispness to them and to make sure the mushrooms still have body to them.)
  3. Next, add stock, vinegar, aminos, miso, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, red curry and five spice into pot, stir to combine and bring to a simmer for approximately 5 minutes (vegetables should be tender).
  4. Meanwhile, in saute pan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp coconut oil on medium heat, add shrimp and its marinade to pan and cook shrimp until pink throughout (approx. 2 minutes per side). Remove shrimp from heat (cut into pieces if desired) and add to the stock pot along with udon noodles, green onions and kale/bok choy. Stir to combine and let simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls garnished with green onions, cilantro and a lime wedge
Notes
  1. This is a great Asian fusion soup base, and you can sub pork or chicken for the shrimp if you're allergic to shellfish. It can easily be made vegan/vegetarian as well by omitting the shrimp and using vegetable stock.
  2. I recommend cleaning the shrimp and getting it in the fridge first to infuse as much flavor into them as possible before cooking, then move on to prepping vegetables.
  3. As with all of my recipes that contain vegetables, I highly recommend using organic produce, as well as any of the other ingredients, whenever possible.
  4. The broth is very rich, so you may want to add a little more stock/water, particularly when reheating leftovers.
Bites of Life http://bitesoflife.net/

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