Have you taken the time to explore your local Asian market yet? We have several that we frequent. I love to go when we have time to explore each aisle thoroughly. It’s during these times that I find gems like this.
Vegetarian Imitation of Mushroom Balls! So let me get this straight. They’re imitating mushrooms in this veggie ball with the POWER of yam. Hey, that’s cool! I’m all about having different veggies imitate other veggies. However there’s still mushroom up in there. Something lost in translation maybe? Either way, I love that it also includes exotic ingredients like white and black PAPPER*.
I am inspired by visuals, so the picture on the package of the mushroom balls made me think to use this in a soup.
Lately, I don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and easy hands-off, throw-together meals are my jam. This tasty and warming Asian noodle soup comes together easily. It simply involves making some noodles, simmering a broth with chopped veggies, and pouring the broth over the noodles. There’s also some optional accompaniments.
The following is a rough estimate of what I did. It doesn’t have precise measurements but soups are forgiving like that. And it’s adaptable to your preferences. That’s what makes it so much fun!
Easy Asian Noodle Soup (with optional Mushroom Balls)
- handful of rice noodles
- 5-6 cups vegan broth (I used the vegan no-beef broth pictured above)
- 1 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder (this is a mix of cinnamon, star anise, fennel, ginger, cloves, white pepper and licorice root)
- 2-3 cups of roughly chopped veggies of your choice (I used a combo of the mushroom balls and oyster mushrooms)
- bean sprouts
- lime slices
Prepare the noodles according to the package and set aside. Making the noodles usually involves soaking it in hot or boiling water. Next pour the vegan broth in a big pot and mix in the Chinese Five Spice. Bring it to a boil. Add the veggies. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes or so, until mushrooms are tender. Taste the broth and stir in more Chinese Five Spice and/or add salt and pepper if desired. The broth I used is very flavorful, so I didn’t add any more spices. Portion out some noodles in a bowl and pour the broth with veggies over it. Squeeze in a little lime juice and top with the other accompaniments.
A couple of notes. If you’re using a lot of different veggies, the simmer time might vary. For example, carrots might require longer to get tender. Also, you may have to throw in the veggies at different times depending on what veggies you’re using and how much time it takes for each to cook. I didn’t have to worry too much about that because the mushroom balls were already cooked and just needed to heat. Oyster mushrooms also get tender quickly.
Change this up to meet your preferences. Like it less soupy? Use less broth. Want it more chunky? Add more veggies. Don’t like noodles? Leave ’em out. Throw in some cubed tofu or shredded seaweed at the end. Get creative and use what ya got!