Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Chinese Meatscraps Noodle Soup
by SuSu & MaceVindaloo
There are just some things that are made better by people who do what they do, and only that. For instance, bakers tend to make better bread, and more cheaply, than anything you can make at home. And when you buy from them, you don't end up buying too much; baking at home means you often make more than you can eat, or you eat too much of it. Buying more than you can use or properly store is a false economy, for you end up wasting the food you can't consume, or you eat so much you get sick and lose productivity and/or your health!
As destitute as the crew of Serenity normally is, they understand the nature of false economies, but they are so often deprived of things that when they come upon the real deal at a decent price, they just can't help themselves. The "deal," in this case, is for a mixed bag of odds and ends of processed meats, roasted in a variety of classical Chinese styles. But each is so delicious, that even if the crew had little money, they'd buy a few grams of red char sui pork, or roasted pork with crackling skin, or duck neckbones with shreds of meat on them and if they were lucky bits there might be bits of the delicious fat that was cooked to a burnished mahogany color stuck onto the pieces. A little goes a long way of these rich meats!
And if they are offered "the rest" of a pan of scrapings for nothing, they don't think twice, even though ingestion of so much fat and drippings, or sucking on all those bones, may result in stomach aches and gout and such. It's just too good not to eat it! And even uncooked, the smell is redolent, so that soon, everyone on the crew would know it was on the ship ... so you have to share your good fortune. This is a recipe that can stretch a few handfuls of bones or scrap pieces of Chinese-style cooked meat. And it's better than anything you can otherwise make at home, from scratch!
In the first pot, place all your meats and trimmings, etc. (including the fat) and cover with enough water to submerge the bones halfway into the water. Add chili sauce to taste. Cover the pot, then bring the water to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes. Note, this recipe is easily stretched by adding more water and chili sauce and boiling a bit longer.
In the second pot, fill with water and drop in 3 or 4 bouillon cubes. Cover and bring to a boil and stir if needed to dissolve the bouillon cubes. Drop in the dried noodles and stir to get the noodles underwater. Cover the pot and turn off the heat, letting the noodles hydrate in the hot water till its done to your liking.
To serve, have the number of big bowls out as you have people. Lift the noodles out of the cooking broth and divide evenly between the bowls. Arrange any leftover cooked vegetables on top of the noodles, off to one side of the bowl. Then lift the meats, bones and all, out of its broth and distribute among the bowls. Carefully ladle the broth from the first pot into each bowl. If it looks like you might need more broth, use the water you cooked the noodles in. Serve piping hot.
Note: 1 lb / 450 g of meatscraps can make up to 6 to 8 big meal-sized bowls of soup, depending on how many noodles and leftover vegetables you might have. And if you need to stretch this dish out so the flavor of the meatbroth becomes weak, you can add some bouillon cubes to that broth, too.
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