Around the Bowl

Soups of the world – Recipes from around the globe & some creations of my own


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Beef Ramen – The Versatile Japanese Soup

Ramen is complex and simple at the same time.
Why complex? Well, If you try to unravel its secrets or to find the definite and true recipe you can go mad on the process; there are as many versions as regions or cooks in Japan and all around the globe! Making the broth from scratch takes a lot of time, ingredients and patience, but that probably might be the key to a good ramen, then it is possible to be as playful as you desire with the toppings and garnishes! By the way, the home-made ramen stock reminds me of the Spanish cocido broth because of its meat cuts and cooking method, it’s interesting to find this connection points between such two different and distant cultures through their cuisine.
And why simple? Because ramen also allows to be simplified and transform into a healthy, delicious and creative dish for the every-day easy to put together meal. I just use a good quality stock and the rest is pure inspiration!
Although I usually choose to go for the extremely simplified version of this soup, I love this guide to Ramen, it provides a lot information classified in a very clarifying way, its like the Ramen encyclopedia!

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Japanese Potato Salad

You may think that a potato salad is not a Japanese recipe, buy apparently it’s a very common every day bento and side dish. I have never heard of the Japanese version of the potato salad until I read the last Haruki Murakami book (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage), where the main character orders a potato salad in a restaurant, arising my curiosity. As usual, I did a little research and finally went for (and slightly adapted) the recipe from Just One Cookbook, a Japanese recipe blog that is in my blogroll and I’ve already introduced in this post, along with the fabulous H. Murakami book.

I instantly liked this recipe because: I love potatoes in every possible way (I think I might be addict to starch) + it’s a fresh salad ideal for a summer meal + it can be both a side dish or a complete meal + it’s quite easy to prepare + it’s an ideal dish to take to friends and family gatherings and finally, unlike other kind of potato salads, is packed with veggies!

Let’s cook and dig in!

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Mexican Red Pozole – A Pork and White Maize soup

I am quite new to  Mexican food, but researching for soup recipes I kept bumping into Pozole and since we enjoy the Mexican Lime and Chicken Soup so much, I decided to give it a try.

Maize is the American continent basic grain, corn is to American cuisine what wheat or rice are to Europe and Asia respectively. In fact, Mexico is the Origin Centre of this cereal, and there are endless varieties of it and a few some of them are widely used all across Latin America, many more than the classic yellow sweet corn we are familiar with.

The soup I am sharing today uses a white corn known as “Mote Blanco” (white mote) or “Maíz Pozolero” (Pozolero Corn). White corn is also used in many other American countries; in Ecuador its crushed boiled grains are a usual side dish and in Argentina is used in “Criolla” cuisine in several dishes, like the “locro”, a maize and meat rich stew typically cook for Argentina’s Independence day, among many other dishes I don’t know. I haven’t mastered Latin American Cuisine yet, mainly because I haven’t travel this continent extensively and also because my passion for Asian food have been taking a lot of my cooking time, hahaha. But I am enjoying my discoveries so far, let’s try this one?

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Argentine Humita and Cauliflower Soup

 

Humita is one of my favourite foods from my country of origin, Argentina. It is a typical dish from the Andes region consisting of creamy maize (corn) paste, prepared with onion, pepper, grated maize, milk, cheese and spices. In the North-west country it is served boiled  inside a square package made with the maize husks, known as “Humita en Chala“. All around the country it is more commonly use as empanadas (a typical pastry) filling,  in pies and even sandwiches.  This is how I used to enjoyed it when I lived there and now I cook empanandas de humita every now and then, when I’m really craving for that unique flavour, not so often since is quite time-consuming and calorific.

But the other evening I thought: and why not an humita soup? and here it is, delicious and slightly more guilt-free than empanadas! The cauliflower addition, which turned out really well, I must confess was only because I had a head asking for help in my fridge and I decided to use it to add some healthy veggie to the mix. And since I’m in a confession mood, here’s another one: I never use fresh corn to make my humita and I don’t grate it either. In an ideal world you would boil corn cobs and then grate them; I just use frozen or even tinned corn and a blender to make the paste. Let’s try it?

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