This recipe is just a guideline – as long as you have some stock you can use whatever leftover turkey, chicken, pork, or shrimp you might have in the fridge. (Bags of frozen shrimp are fairly inexpensive and are great to stash in the freezer to throw in to this kind of dish.) Dried noodles keep indefinitely, so you’re likely to have a bag of some sort in the pantry. Add some greens at the end – just until they wilt – and you’ll have yourself a noodle bowl comparable to take-out.
Big Noodle Bowl
Turkey, chicken, vegetable or shrimp stock (about 1 1/2 cups per person)
Rice noodles, fresh or dried Asian noodles or any other type of noodle (about a handful per person)
Shredded cooked turkey, chicken, chopped cooked pork, or cooked or raw peeled shrimp (as much as you like)
Fresh or frozen pork dumplings (optional)
Baby bok choy or spinach (about a handful per person), coarsely chopped or left whole
Sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, and/or fish sauce to taste
Heat the stock to a simmer in a saucepan appropriate for the amount you have. In a separate pot or bowl, boil or soak the noodles according to the package directions and drain them well. Divide the noodles among your serving bowls.
Season the broth with sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce, and/or fish sauce, or put the bottles out on the table so that people can season their own. Add the meat or seafood and bok choy to the broth and simmer just until the greens wilt. If you are using raw shrimp, make sure they have turned pink – this indicates they are cooked. Shrimp typically only need a minute or two to cook, depending on their size, so take them off the heat as soon as they turn pink; otherwise they will overcook and become rubbery. If you add raw dumplings, let them cook for a few minutes, until the noodles are soft and insides are firm.
Ladle the soup over the noodles and serve.