For the most part, Saturday market time is Me Time. C is out mountain biking in, oh, some mountain somewhere. Little C is asleep or playing with the nanny. Weekend activities have yet to start, or even be planned. It’s a quiet pocket of morning that is all mine. Going over the fresh produce, seeing the new offerings from our local farms, chatting with the purveyors, (tasting all the free samples!), finding something to take home for breakfast.
I walk to my neighborhood weekend market with my bags in tow. If it looks like rain I take my battered umbrella (a fake-y Barca one we had to procure on our honeymoon during a rainy jaunt to Cadaques). The walk in itself is a time for reflection (and probably the only exercise I get every week…I know, don’t even say it). A gentle reminder to be grateful for the blessings in my life, both big and small – my family, a market that is a short walk away, coffee, hot showers & cold sheets, warm soup on a rainy night.
And all the artisans and experts, the zealous and new, along with the experienced though still as fervent, that cross my path. One of my favorites is a pair of Chinese ladies who make and sell homemade dim sum and noodles. They man a small table brimming with siomai, wontons, kikiam, fresh noodles, lobster balls, XO sauce, and all sorts of things I want to make off with. The dim sum is frozen so you can keep some stored away in the freezer for emergency wonton noodle soup.
Simple Wonton Noodle Soup
- 120 grams egg noodles
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 red onion sliced
- 10-12 pcs wonton
- 1-2 bunches bok choy, trimmed and leaves separated
- 1 bunch enoki mushrooms, bottom trimmed and separated
- A splash or 2 of soy sauce
- 6 stalks green onion, sliced on the diagonal
- Place stock, ginger, and onion in a pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the onion is soft.
- Add the wontons into the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add bok choy and mushrooms and simmer a further 5-10 minutes or until everything is cooked.
- Add a splash or two of soy sauce to taste. Take the pot of the heat.
- Pile noodles in individual bowls. Pour soup over the noodles making sure each serving gets some vegetables and wontons. Garnish each serving with sliced green onions.
This soup hits the spot on a rainy night after a tough day of work when you both want something homespun and nourishing, but at the same time don’t have the energy to prepare anything too involved. It’s all a matter of getting your noodles done, and, at the same time, putting everything in another pot to cook. We like it with some chili oil or chili-garlic oil (the type you have with siomai) drizzled on top. The volumes are far from specific as you can add as little or as much as you want (or you have). Switch the enoki with shitake or add more fresh herbs to garnish -- you can get as fancy or as bare-bones as you want with this. This version, as the title implies, is very basic...great as is but also good to build on. Until I finally attempt making my own wontons, my two ladies have got me covered. Recipe suggestions are very welcome though!
I am a big believer of Me Time for all people (young, old, male, female, married, single). Whether it’s solo market meandering, an afternoon at the spa, holing up in a museum or a bookstore, or hunting down the perfect stiletto, I think it’s important that every person finds time just for themselves. Humans need to nurture themselves to be better to other humans...my humble opinion :)