It’s a while since I published the Mason Jar Salad Experiment and it has bred disciples in the break room.
As much as I love the giant colourful bowls of fresh veggies, however it’s time for something new, and with how cold the winter has been, what better way to get cozy than with a delicious noodle soup.
I’m in love with these already!
It’s given me the opportunity to explore some fun new flavours and ingredients I’ve never cooked with before.
Check out the breakdown here:
The formula to making these jars delicious is balancing textures and sweet/salty ingredients in a hot broth.
I want to experiment with some new flavours this year so I did a bit of research into traditional ingredients in Chinese cuisine. The dried goods isle of Kai Wei Supermarket was perfectly stocked with all the goodies below and may carry more options for you to explore:
- 1 large carrot
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup dried lily bulbs
- 1 cup dried cloud ear fungus
- 1/2 cup dehydrated tofu
- 1 can preserved shiitake mushrooms
- 1 can baby corn
- 1 cup green onion
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 cup water chestnuts
- 1 cup edamame
- 2 cups mung bean vermicelli
- 2 large Chinese bok choy
I also made my own soup based by mixing the following:
- 1/2 cup concentrated vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy Sauce
- 2 tsp fried bamboo shoot spicy sauce (or any other chilli sauce)
- Optional: ground black sesame
There’s no hard rule on quantities here, these ingredients can be mixed to taste. My measurements yielded enough for 6 jars but additional soup base stores well in the fridge.
The process of assembling these jars is more time consuming than the salads, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Warm and filling, the taste of these vegetarian bowls is perfectly complementary and they have so many unique textures.
To get started, rehydrate all your dry ingredients in cool water. Never use hot water to rehydrate as this leaches out the ingredient flavour into water you’ll be discarding.
The cloud ear fungus has a satisfying crunch, and the shiitake mushrooms are packed full of flavour.
Lily pods have a delicate sweetness and are quite chewy adding to the texture of the soup.
The vermicelli should also soak in cool water before flash boiling them and draining completely. Mung bean noodles turn clear when cooked, but it’s easy to overprocess them, so make sure to take them out of the boiling pot quickly and then douse in cold water again to stop the cooking process.
After draining the noodles you can also use the same pot of water to quickly blanche the Chinese bok choy.
Stacking the ingredients in the jar uses the same principle as my salads: hard ingredients at the bottom, softer ingredients towards the top. I topped off each jar with a handful of the half cooked noodles and poured a tablespoon of the base on top of them, plus some ground black sesame seeds.
The last thing in the jar is the bok choy pieces, which I remove before adding hot water to make some room and then drop them back into the bowl.
When you’re ready to eat, add 1 cup of boiling hot water to the jar, and close the lid for 10 minutes. Then empty into a bowl or shake well and stir then eat it right out of the jar.