Longkou Vegetable Chinese Soup: the Famous Cellophane Noodles
Updated: May 1, 2020
To be fair, this entire article's purpose was for me to show you that I found out about these Chinese translucent noodles and nearly lost my mind. I mean how cool, it looks like you're eating something from a science fair. Also, my friend Katia *along with the baby in her tummy* came by for lunch so I thought, what better way to feed a woman who can not currently stand the sight or smell of meat- fun fact, I was the same during my pregnancy, hello, Ella's future bestie!? The answer? A vegetarian Chinese soup (call it what you want, let me remind you that its entire purpose was to show off my new noodles), full of nutritious vegetables and new spices!
Now. The French speaker in me has to mention that the pronunciation 'longkou' sounds like you are saying 'long neck' but don't be fooled. It actually comes from the name of the port where they were originally shipped through, over 300 years ago, in the town of Zhangxing, in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province, in China. They are referred to as 'cellophane noodles' and commonly marketed as Longkou fensi. Why did I just do this? No idea, I get very curious about the origin of words and ingredients and I choose to randomly share my findings from time to time. You will fall asleep tonight with an extra word in your vocabulary, and most likely feeling hungry. Sorry!
You will need,
Carrot (1, thinly sliced)
Bok Choy (2, chopped in quarters)
Celery (2 ribs, thinly chopped)
Shallot (1, thinly sliced)
Garlic (4-5 cloves, minced)
Scallions (2, thinly sliced)
Ginger powder (1 tbsp)
Soy sauce (5 tbsp)
Chicken broth (or all vegetable, 1 pint)
Vegetable broth (3 cups)
Sesame seeds (a pinch, for garnish)
Hoi sin sauce (3 tbsp)
Sesame oil (5 tbsp)
Longkou Noodles (enough for the amount of people you are cooking for)
Optional: Chili oil (a few drops)
A few steps,
1. In a medium-sized pot over medium-heat, toss garlic and shallot with sesame oil until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
2. Add carrot, celery, scallions and soy sauce. Toss with additional sesame oil if needed and stir for 5-6 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
3. Add both broths, Hoi sin, ginger powder and let simmer while reducing the heat for about 10 minutes. You would add chili oil at this step if desired.
4. Add in the sliced bok choy and stir for a few minutes.
5. When the bok choy has soften to your liking, add the noodles. The soup will be ready to serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds when the noodles are fully cooked. Twirl away!