373. pak choi, bean sprout and noodle soup
The best things in life are free
Recently a good friend of ours shared the above picture on Facebook. I had to share it with my blog followers for many reasons. The first being that many times during the day we forget about the best things in life and concentrate too much on our other meaningless, frustrating and stress giving issues. As soon as I saw the picture, I thought about it and it dawned on me that I am truly blessed. This made me instantly forget a harrowing and frustrating incident that I went through yesterday. It was an eye opener for me as it showed how threatening, menacing, mean and arrogant some people can get about the position they hold be it in the society, in a company, the government or any work place. Looking at the above picture and the thoughts that followed made me forget the humiliation and look forward in life.
Hugs: I get plenty of that from hubby dear and from my children whenever we are together. Hugs from my dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends are all so special. I am blessed. A simple hug makes one feel wanted.
Smiles: Just a smile from someone you know or a stranger can take all your troubles away. It makes the world a better place. Smiles today from friends and people around me made me a happy person. They smiled and I smiled in return.
Friends: I may not have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but the few ones that I have are the ones I treasure.None of my friends are same in personality or character which makes having them around all that more special. I share different interests with different friends.
Kisses: Yes a very important part of a blissful romantic evening but a kiss on the cheek from kids, loved ones is equally important.
Family: What would be the world like without family? Family stands by you in both good times and bad, more so during bad times. In this fast pace life of ours, communicating with family is important. My family is my solid support for whatever ventures or tasks I have to carry out. I would not change any of the members of my family as all of them are unique in their own way. They have stood by me whenever I have needed them.
Sleep: A peaceful, fitful sleep is necessary to go through a busy day. I am so glad that I do fall asleep as soon as I have been through just a page or so of my story book. This peaceful country allows me to sleep in peace and I am thankful for that.
Love: Loving a person in spite of their many different manners, traits and personality is so much easier to handle than hating a person. I just realised that hating that very arrogant important position holding person, took away a lot of positive energy from me. I don’t want to hate anyone so much ever again.
Laughter: One of my friends sent a hilarious joke by whatsapp today and that’s exactly what I needed. Unknowingly she has helped me to feel so much better. Just recently when we were flying to Nairobi, they had the program Just for Laughs on their screen. As the plane took off, I was busy reading their inflight magazine when I heard a few giggles and laughter from behind. Looked up at the screen and saw why. I put the magazine down and watched the short program. More laughter started coming from all sides of the plane. By the time we arrived into Nairobi, more than half the passengers were heartily laughing away. What a wonderful way to begin the day. I think if we begin our day with laughter, we are ready to face problems, challenges and rude people in a more calm, patient and tolerant manner.
Good memories: Yesterday was my birthday and it was not too happy a day. Good wishes and blessings poured from everywhere, my little niece and nephew also sang happy birthday over the phone. These little gestures gave me a moment of happiness but the black cloud quickly covered it. I felt that it must be the worst birthday I have had. Would I remember that in a few years? Probably not as my daughter’s wonderful message, my hubby’s little gestures, my niece and nephew singing, blessings from my elders will make it a memorable one. Good memories always bring a smile and sense of satisfaction.
To make a bad day more bearable, eat your favourite comfort food. Mine was a bowl of hot soup.
PAK CHOI, BEAN SPROUT AND NOODLE SOUP
1 head of pak choi (pak choy, bok choi)
1 small onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp thin ginger strips
1 cup bean sprouts
¼ cup chopped spring onion
3½ cups hot water or stock
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice or cider vinegar
½-¾ tsp salt
½ tsp five spice powder
½ tsp pepper powder
½ – 1 tsp chilli sauce
Five spice powder:
1 tsp szechwan (sichuan) pepper
½ tsp cloves
2 inch cinnamon stick
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 star anise
- Lightly roast the spices in a hot pan. Let it cool and then grind in a spice mill or coffee grinder.
- Wash the pak choi thoroughly and chop it into big chunks.
- Peel and cut the onion into chunks
- Peel and slice the garlic.
- Heat both the oils in a deep pan over high heat.
- Add garlic, onion and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the pak choi and stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the water. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt, five spice powder and pepper powder.Let the soup become hot but not boiling.
- Add the noodles and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or till the noodles are done.
- Add the bean sprouts.
- Serve the soup immediately with chilli sauce or add it in the soup while preparing it.
- Store the remaining five spice powder in an airtight container. Can use it for other chinese dishes.
- Prepare the soup just before serving to maintain the crispness of the vegetables.
- Use chinese cabbage (napa cabbage) instead of pak choi.
- Add other vegetables of your choice.
- I bought the quick cooking noodles available in the market. Use any of your choice.
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