You can add all sorts of favorite vegetables to this soup - it is rich and flavorful - as well as a variety of Asian noodles. Good stir-fry practice!
1 1/2 ounces medium-size dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup cold water
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
peeled and minced fresh ginger to taste (we use about 3 TBSP - 1 1/2 inches of thick root
1 pound fresh noodles - soba, thin wheat noodles, rice vermicelli, or udon depending on your taste
3 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
12 ounces pork butt, trimmed, cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (6 1/2-ounce) can preserved (or make your own) snow cabbage, well drained
1 cup drained canned bamboo shoot strips (most of one 8-ounce can)
OPTIONAL: You can also add: 1/2 chopped bok choi cabbage, 1 cup bean sprouts, water chestnuts...
Large skillet, wok or non-stick wok, saucepan for broth.
PLACE shiitake mushrooms in medium bowl. Add cold water to cover; let soak until soft, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Squeeze mushrooms dry. If not pre-sliced, cut off stems; discard. Thinly slice caps.
THINLY slice the pork across the grain, then in bite-sized strips.
COMBINE broth, ginger, and reserved mushroom liquid in large saucepan; bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.
BOIL noodles in salted water until tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Drain; divide among 6 bowls.
HEAT 14-inch-diameter flat-bottomed wok (we have a seasoned, steel wok which yields wonderful results along with lots of smoke) or heavy 12-inch-diameter skillet over high heat until drop of water evaporates on contact. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then pork, spreading evenly. Cook without stirring 20 seconds; then stir-fry pork until no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in rice wine and soy sauce. Transfer to plate.
ADD remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same wok (do not clean) over high heat. Add mushrooms; stir-fry 1 minute. Add snow cabbage, bamboo shoot strips, and sugar; stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir in pork and any accumulated juices. Stir-fry 1 minute. Top noodles with pork mixture. Divide hot broth among bowls.