BEEF NOODLE SOUP
5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger root
6 scallions (white part of green onions)
1 Roma tomato
2 Thai chiles or red chiles
8 cups water (or enough to cover short ribs)
1⅓ cups Chinese rice wine or sherry
¾ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Sichuan chili bean sauce
(doubanchiang), Korean gochujang. or bean sauce
4 whole star anise pods
3 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup chicken stock
1¼ pounds Asian wheat noodles or linguine
¼ cup mustard greens or spinach
¼ cup baby bok choy, bok choy, or Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
8 quart pot
Makes 8 bowls. Takes 4 hours 30 minutes.
Mince garlic cloves. Peel and grate ginger root. Cut scallions into ¼” slices. Dice tomato and Thai chiles. Add garlic, ginger, scallion, tomato, water, rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili bean sauce, and star anise into pot. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add short ribs. Cover and simmer on low heat for 2½ hours or until meat is tender to the fork, but is still on the ribs. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let sit for 1 hour. Remove meat from pot with tongs and place on flat surface. Push bones out of short ribs. Shred beef with fork.. Return shredded beef to pot. Add chicken stock. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
While soup simmers, cook noodles according to instructions on package. Dice mustard greens, baby bok choy, and cilantro. Add noodles to bowls. Add mustard greens and bok choy to bowls. Ladle soup over mustard greens and baby bok choy. Garnish with cilantro.
1) Not too many years ago, Susan Chang of Poway, California, posted the following question on FacebookTM, “If we took all the cooked noodles in the world and tied them together, would they reach all the way to Mars?” No response. Susan asked the same question, but added a picture of two kittens playing with noodles.
2) The post went viral. Suddenly, billions of people had to know. Purchases of noodles went up a thousand fold. The entire economies of thirteen smallish countries switched over to making noodles. Greenland built sixty million hot houses to raise wheat. Ten million babies were named after noodles, “Noodlo if they were boys or “Noodla” if they were girls.
3) Soon the world had billions of miles of noodles, enough to cover every road in the world. This naturally made traveling anywhere difficult, unless, of course, you had a JeepTM equipped with noodle tires. But we didn’t have many of those vehicles. Most factories still churned out noodles.
4) Time to cook those noodles. On May 5, all seven billion people cooked noodles. The steam from all that water boiling formed a thick cloud over the entire Earth. The cloud lasted an year. No sunlight got through at all; dinosaurs that somehow survived the meteor from 65 million years ago, died up for good. People tied noodle after noodle together. Soon a string billions of miles long circled the globe countless times. We know it was countless because no one tried counting it.
5) Sally was chose for the honor of stretching the string to Mars. Being five foot seven and standing on her tippy toes and extending her hand to sky, she managed to lift the noodle end seven feet to Mars. This was short of the Red Planet as all could see. So, Sally stood on her boyfriend Bob’s shoulders. Still short of Mars. A troupe of Chinese acrobats came over. Although they stood seventeen people tall, a GuinnessTM record for noodle standing they were still not all the way to Mars.
6) Bushnell AviationTM lent a helicopter. One person, Dwayne, held onto the helicopter and then another person held on to him, and so on. However, even though Wayne was a weight lifter, even he couldn’t hold up 15,000 pounds of people for long. He let go. Fortunately every fill into the community swimming pool, establishing Guinness records for the largest number of people to successfully perform a cannonball into a community pool and for the largest tidal wave in Wyoming.
7) Then NASA and the European Space Agency, seeing people actually performing scientific experiments got into the act. A space shuttle spooled out the noodle string as it traveled Mars. The string measured 135 billion miles, enough to get to that planet when it was closest to Earth.
12) Unfortunately, Mars was farther away than that. The phlegmatic population, there being a global cold, shrugged and built a noodle string three time longer than the first, which is still whipping around the Earth. NASA tried again. It worked! It did. It did. All the way to Mars. Sally clipped the string in two. ESA carried the second string all the way as well. The noodle strings stayed in place as the extremely cold temperatures of space froze them into super strong poles.
13) Then Amos Keeto, at Bushnell ConstructionTM said, “We have extra noodle, enough to make rungs between the noodle poles. The people of Earth, did just that. Now, if you have space suit and have enough supplies, you can climb to Mars. Way cool.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.