Our trip to France disrupted my usual routine to decide every Friday what to eat for the upcoming week and to do all of the grocery shopping needed for that. So on Tuesday after work there were no groceries in the fridge for cooking, nor a plan. So I went to the supermarket (since specialty stores like butchers were already closed) and had to decide on the spot what I wanted to make with the produce available. I bought some wet-aged south american sirloin and Chinese cabbage to stir-fry and serve with rice. When I came home, I decided to make noodle soup instead. Not using a recipe and certainly not an authentic dish, but just by throwing together what I thought would work well. It worked out well, and I believe this recipe (if you can call it that) can very easily be adapted by changing proteins, veggies, or spices to your liking. The most important thing to remember to get it right, is to not overcook the proteins or veggies and to make sure you use proper stock (either home-made or good-quality store-bought, never from a bouillon cube).
250 grams (0.55 lbs) sirloin or other tender beef
400 grams (0.9 lbs) Chinese cabbage, shredded
1 green onion
1/2 inch of fresh ginger
fresh red chile pepper to taste (I used 1/3 with seeds)
2 cups beef stock
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp sake
2 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
100 grams (4 oz) Japanese noodles (soba or udon)
4 Tbsp vegetable oil with a high smoking point (oil for stir frying is a good choice)
Peel and chop the ginger. Chop the chile pepper. Chop the green onion, reserving the green part for garnish.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with some more soy sauce if needed.
Eat with chop sticks and drink the stock from the bowl like the Japanese do.