Shan Noodles

I don’t know about you but there are so many times I wake up in the morning and I crave soup. I’m talking about a few in particular, and they are all Asian based soups. Soups like Khao Soi, Pho, or even Khao Poon. These are all noodle based soups, soaked in great curry based broths and they do nothing more than bring awesome comfort to your soul. I love them, and this soup in particular is right up with them. It’s called Shan Noodles, and is a riff on all of the soups mentioned above, and typically in that same region, just north of Thailand and Laos, in the Myanmar region, a hodge podge of various cultures, and when that happens, you know you are going to have some pretty awesome food. This is one of them.

Shan Noodles Recipe
Shan Noodles Recipe

This soup is basic but loaded with tons of flavor, plus it is way too simple to make. You can make this with ground pork or chicken as well, but I choose pork. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic, optional
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 small baby bok choy, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • Rice noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the canola oil, and let it come to a quick simmer. Add in the ground pork, and using a wooden spoon, continue to break up the pork (or ground chicken), and cook until browned.

Next, add in the diced onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring along the way.

Next, add in the paprika, soy sauce, fish sauce, and turmeric, and stir. Cook for about a minute, then add in the grated tomato. Give this a good stir, and cook for another minute or two. Now add in the water, stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes.

How to make Shan Noodles
How to make Shan Noodles

During this time, heat up the chicken stock on the stove on medium heat. Add in the bok choy and let it cook until tender.

Boil water, enough to cover the amount of your rice noodles, and cook until they are al dente, about 5 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve.

Add your cooked rice noodles to your soup bowl. Generously ladle the pork mixture onto the noodles, then add broth to cover the noodles. Add the bok choy, chopped peanuts, fried garlic,and fresh cilantro. Shower with the green onions. Taste, and season with salt.

Dig in. Again, this is like most of those great Asian soups, but something about this one is really special. Sure, it could be the pork mixture, but when everything is brought together it is really, really yummy. Hope you enjoy!

Shan Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1½ pound of ground pork
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic, optional
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 small baby bok choy, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • Rice noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the canola oil, and let it come to a quick simmer. Add in the ground pork, and using a wooden spoon, continue to break up the pork (or ground chicken), and cook until browned.
  2. Next, add in the diced onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring along the way.
  3. Next, add in the paprika, soy sauce, fish sauce, and turmeric, and stir. Cook for about a minute, then add in the grated tomato. Give this a good stir, and cook for another minute or two. Now add in the water, stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. Boil water, enough to cover the amount of your rice noodles, and cook until they are al dente, about 5 minutes.
  5. Now you are ready to serve.
  6. Add your cooked rice noodles to your soup bowl. Generously ladle the pork mixture onto the noodles, then add broth to cover the noodles. Add the bok choy, chopped peanuts, fried garlic,and fresh cilantro. Shower with the green onions. Taste, and season with salt.

 

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Slow Cooker Beef Madras

You know that time when you are really wanting some great Indian food, and wanting that great curry gravy? Yeah, I had one of those moments recently, and I was glad that I did! The most recent dish I made is called beef madras. It is essentially an Indian style curry made with beef, but this time I decided to prepare everything in advance, and let it cook in a slow cooker for about 8 hours until the beef was fall apart tender. This beef madras is loaded with awesome flavor, dark in color, rich, and just warms the soul. I was a bit skeptical if my kids were going to eat this, but you know what, they devoured it! All of it. That’s always a great thing.

Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe
Slow Cooker Beef Madras Sandwich Recipe

Yes, I turned my beef madras into a sandwich, but traditionally it is served on a bed of rice, of which my kids could not get enough of. Your choice, but whatever route you go with, it’s going to be a great route, trust me.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs cubed beef
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, chopped
  • .8 oz curry powder (yes, I used store bought, don’t judge me)
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • French baguette, optional
  • cooked jasmine rice
  • fresh onion, sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

This sounds like a lot, but it is really a quick throw together meal, and after some initial stove work, it all gets dumped into your slow cooker, and then you can walk away only to be bombarded by some awesome smells through the day until you are ready to eat.

Let’s get going.

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in half of the oil, and let it come to temperature. Once heated, add in the onion, and give a good stir. Once the onions soften, about 6 minutes or so, add in the garlic, tomatoes, and once you get that great aroma from the garlic, add in chili flakes, curry powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and ginger. Give this a good stir, and cook the seasonings for a few minutes.

Remove the mixture to a plate, and set to the side.

Beef Madras Ingredients
Beef Madras Ingredients

Rinse out your skillet, and return back to the stove.  Add the remaining oil, and keep the heat on medium-high.

Season the cubed beef with some salt, then add the cubed beef to the skillet. Your goal here is to brown the beef, not fully cook it. Once browned, add the onion and seasoning mixture back to the beef mixture, give a good stir, then add the beef stock. Stir again, then add everything to your slow cooker.

Cover, and cook on the low setting, and cook for 8 hours or longer if you desire. Stir along the way.

Now when you are ready to serve, take some rice and place into a bowl, then ladle in the beef madras. Top with fresh cilantro and onion if you desire.

The result is nothing short of fantastic. The beef is super tender, and that curry gravy will have you coming back for more. Again, I was really surprised watching my kids devour the beef madras. They came back for seconds, they loved it that much, and for me, well, I made the sandwich, and there was something about it. It almost reminded me of a beef au jus. That gravy set into the baguette, and made it that much more special. This is a real winner if you are into a great beef curry. Hope you enjoy!

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Chicken Pho

I’m a sucker for Vietnamese pho. I truly am, and cannot get enough of it. I often think it is due to the delicious broth, but when slurped with some noodles, fresh herbs, and protein, then you really have a great, and I mean a great, meal. To me, Vietnamese pho is best during the morning hours, but for whatever reason any of the pho shops around town only open around 11:00 a.m. I kind of want a bowl of pho at like 9:30 a.m., not 11:30 a.m.! Often times my go to pho is the classic beef parts along with some tripe, but recently I decided to make a batch of chicken pho, and lord almighty it was delicious. Regardless if you are just batching out the stock and going with some spin on a chicken noodle soup, I recommend going full force and making a batch of this chicken pho. It’s comforting and everything you expect in a great pho.

 Chicken Pho Recipe
Chicken Pho Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the stock:

  • 2 whole onions
  • 3 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 lb chicken thighs
  • 1.5 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 quarts of water, to cover
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup of sake, optional
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Ingredients for the chicken pho:

  • 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs if you desire)
  • 1 bag of bahn pho noodles (find at Asian market)
  • 1 whole lime, quartered
  • Sriracha, optional
  • 1 bunch Thai basil
  • 1 whole jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, torn
  • 1 bunch bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, optional
  • 1 bunch bok choy, chopped, optional
  • oyster sauce, optional

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Add the onions and ginger to a baking sheet, and place into the oven until they are nice and charred. You can do this on your grill as well if you desire. Once charred, add them to the stock pot, along with the chicken pieces, salt, fish sauce, star anise, cinnamon, sake, and sugar.

Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat. You will notice a bunch of chicken scum come to the top during the simmer. No fear. You want to remove all of this. Use a skimmer to remove the scum, and discard. If you do not have a skimmer, use a large spoon. Continue to remove the scum as it appears.

I cooked my stock for about 6 hours, because, hey, why not? Once thoroughly cooked, strain using a chinois, or another type of strainer over a large pot. I use the chinois, and press the mixture until all of the stock is strained. Let the stock cool, the cover and refrigerate.

When you are ready to use, add the stock (it will be thickened from all of that great chicken fat) to your pot to reheat, letting it come to a boil.

How to make chicken pho
How to make chicken pho

Add in the chicken breast, or thighs and simmer until fully cooked. Remove the chicken, and shred.

Add the pho noodles to a large bowl, and top with hot water. Let the noodles cook in the hot water until they just get slightly tender. Keep an eye on them as you do not want to overcook the noodles.

To serve, strain the noodles and place a generous amount into your soup bowl. Add the chicken, fresh herbs, bok choy and bean sprouts, and ladle in generous amount of the chicken broth.

When you are ready add the lime juice, Sriracha, jalapenos, and oyster sauce, stir, and get your face down into that bowl.

Gosh this stuff was great, and as much as I love the classic beef pho, this just brought that comfort level up with what you might think of a great chicken noodle soup, but elevated to the 10th degree.  Hope you enjoy, and have a great Thanksgiving!

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African Style Chicken Sandwich – Chicken Suqaar

It was not too long ago when my colleagues and I ventured out to try a new restaurant, only due to the fact that someone did a writeup on them in regards to one of their sandwiches.  The place was called Blue Star Cafe, and is located on the east side of Milwaukee. The three of us ordered sandwiches, and I decided on getting their chicken sandwich with green sauce. Not really knowing what I was going to get, beyond chicken on bread, I was completely blown away by the flavors, tenderness of the chicken, and their bread. It was known as Somali food, and I was down with it. After recognizing all of the awesome flavors, I decided to take a stab at making my own, and boy was it ever good.

African Style Chicken Sandwich Recipe
African Style Chicken Sandwich Recipe

When I was eating this sandwich, it really took me to a similar sandwich, the Banh Mi, a sandwich that is packed with tender meat, fresh herbs, and seasoning.

My kids devoured this sandwich and were wanting more. That’s always a good sign, of great food in my book, plus it is super simple to make.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 whole potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 whole onion, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 whole tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Thin, soft French baguettes

Start by adding the chicken thighs to a slow cooker. You can do this in the oven if you desire, but during a busy work week, I find that throwing these in a slow cooker was the real trick.

Toss with the garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, chicken bouillon, and allspice. Drizzle with some olive oil, add in the water, and cook on low for 8 hours.

Once cooked, pull apart with a fork, and remain cooking until it gets folded into the vegetable mix.

To a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, then add in the onions, cubed potato, and carrots. Cook just until slightly tender, then fold in the chicken mixture. Gently stir, and cook on low heat.

Make the curry mayonnaise for the sauce. Add the mayo and curry powder to a bowl, and stir to combine.  Now let’s make the sandwiches!

How to make African Chicken Suqaar Sandwiches
How to make African Chicken Suqaar Sandwiches

Take one of your French baguettes, and slice lengthwise. Slather on the curry mayonnaise on both sides. Top with the chicken suqaar mixture, then add in the chilies, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Fold, give a good push down. Open wide and dig in.

There’s something to be said about this African chicken sandwich. It’s ultra tender chicken, that is just seasoned perfectly really balances out with the curry mayonnaise, and fresh herbs and chilies. I’m really glad my colleagues turned me onto the Blue Star Cafe, as without going there, I would have no idea about this type of African cuisine. Give this one a try, I’m sure you will love it!

African Style Chicken Sandwich - Chicken Suqaar
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Sandwiches
Cuisine: African
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 whole potato, peeled, cooked, and cubed
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 whole onion, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 whole tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Thin, soft French baguettes
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the chicken thighs to a slow cooker. You can do this in the oven if you desire, but during a busy work week, I find that throwing these in a slow cooker was the real trick.
  2. Toss with the garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, lemon pepper, chicken bouillon, and allspice. Drizzle with some olive oil, add in the water, and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Once cooked, pull apart with a fork, and remain cooking until it gets folded into the vegetable mix.
  4. To a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil, then add in the onions, cubed potato, and carrots. Cook just until slightly tender, then fold in the chicken mixture. Gently stir, and cook on low heat.
  5. Make the curry mayonnaise for the sauce. Add the mayo and curry powder to a bowl, and stir to combine. Now let’s make the sandwiches!
  6. Take one of your French baguettes, and slice lengthwise. Slather on the curry mayonnaise on both sides. Top with the chicken suqaar mixture, then add in the chilies, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro. Fold, give a good push down. Open wide and dig in.

 

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