Here’s what happens when the rest of the world is hoarding food and you’re stuck at home without being able to leave: the first chance you get that you can buy food you go overboard too and end up looking like hoarder. That’s what happened with Sis and I. We had been staying home because she had a little cough. Out of an overabundance of caution, we had not been going anywhere in case we were infected with the coronavirus. We did not want to get anyone else infected.
Apparently, the rest of Portland has been doing the same thing because every time we tried to get groceries delivered, it was a 5-day wait if we could even reserve a spot at all. Most days there were just no options available. It was extremely frustrating. Eventually we were able to order some items from Costco for delivery. We both placed an order. A few days later we decided it was safe enough to venture outside and I loaded up on $80 more groceries from New Seasons. By that time our refrigerator was stuffed to the gills with food and we were beginning to worry that some of the produce we bought was about spoil.
As an aside, it hasn’t been as fun as one might imagine not being able to leave your house. At first I was super excited about being able to work from home each and every day. That has basically been my dream job and, to be honest, my dog loves it. He never wants coronavirus to end; he also does not want anyone dying. He just wants a nice peaceful coronavirus-like world where his mom is home all the time. At any rate, I really got into the whole working from home bit and bought myself two monitors and docking station so I could plug my laptop in and work more efficiently. I even bought a really nice office chair and a keyboard and mouse pad gel wrist guard to complete the whole working-from-home picture. I was having lots of fun with it, fun being the operative word as I do not think many people describe work as being fun, until I wasn’t able to leave home for any reason whatsoever. Then it began to feel like prison.
The only real fun in the day, for awhile, was making food. And that began to be only slightly fun at some point because after a long day of working from home. You work more when you work from home because you can work during the time you would normally commute and if you haven’t finished up an item by quitting time you can sit in your PJs on the couch if you want to and finish it up. It’s like grazing, according to my coworker. You can literally work all damn day and night and most of the time that’s what I do.
So Sis and I decided we needed to make something to use up some broccolini. I was going for a noodle dish because I love Asian noodle dishes and Sis suggested soup so the compromise was an Asian noodle soup.
There’s this restaurant that’s close enough for us to walk to that makes really delightful ramen. The last time we were there, they over-charged me by about $20. I noticed it immediately and assumed they stuck us with another customer’s bill. I didn’t bother to ask for an adjustment though because I just needed to leave. I have problems with temperature due to an autoimmune disorder; I was so hot inside the restaurant I thought I might pass out.
At any rate, Sis and I decided to make our own Ramen-like soup and save ourselves $30 to $50.
This soup was amazing. It was chock full of fresh veggies and spicy as all get-out thanks to some chili-oil we drizzled on top along with the red chili flakes in the soup. Sis used to be an English-as-a-Second Language teacher; she’s now an administrator of sorts. This past fall, one of her students gave her a jar of homemade chili oil and warned her to use it sparingly letting her know that white people cannot handle the heat. Every time we use the chili oil, she reminds me of the warning by her student. Every time I use the oil I put too much oil on my food and spreads fire across my lips and inside my mouth as I eat and I find my food to be nearly inedible. (You can see the chili oil drizzled on top my soft-boiled egg in two of the pics.) The soup was made with a really simple Miso broth but the added spiciness through the chili oil and some sriracha sauce made the soup fantastic, in my opinion.
- 8 c. water
- 4 T. miso paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. red chili flakes
- 2 c. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 single servings of soba noodles
- 1 head of broccolini, washed and roughly chopped
- 3 green onion, washed and sliced, green and white parts separated
- cilantro, for garnish
- bean sprouts, for garnish
- sriracha sauce or chili oil for drizzling
- soft boiled eggs, for serving (optional)
- salt, to taste
- Bring the water to a low simmer and add the miso paste. Do not boil water once you’ve added miso; it can ruin the miso.
- While the water is heating, prepare all the vegetables. Add the white parts of the green onion, chili flakes and minced garlic to the miso broth.
- Add mushrooms and broccolini. Taste the broth and add some salt if needed.
- Cook the soba noodles according to package directions or until al dente. Drain the noodles and place in the bottom of a large bowl. Top with veggie miso broth, cilantro, green part of the green onions and bean sprouts. Add a soft boiled egg if that’s your thing. Drizzle with some sriracha sauce or chili oil. Eat immediately.
Note: If you’re a meat eater, throw some already cooked meat in there when serving. I added some ground pork to my bowl and it was delicious.