Just a simple dinner tonight, it's getting cooler and rainy! A steaming bowl of noodle soup should be a perfect fit! Simple, but not boring!
In my mom's house, a bowl of soup was never started from canned or store-bought broth. Making hearty bone broth from the freshest ingredients and slow cooking it for hours, is my mom's weekly routine! She always had ready-to-use chicken/pork/beef bone broth in the freezer, which is packed with flavor and nutrition. Anyone who came to our house and ate all the noodles but left the soup, would get the stink eye from my mom (and most likely wouldn't be invited over again!!) LOL!
Being raised by a hard core mom like that, I adopted her skill and passion for food. I, too, always have some ready-to-use homemade broth in my freezer!
For this dish, I use pork bone broth as the base and boil the pork cheek meat in the simmering broth with lid covered for 30 minutes. Then, I cook the clams, shrimp, and fish separately, one batch at a time, in the broth, taking them out and letting them cool on the side, once perfectly cooked. I do this because all the ingredients take different times to cook, and I really don't like over-cooked seafood. Finally, I add in the taro roots and shredded bamboo shoots, and cooked for about 15-20 mins. After all the ingredients are cooked, I prepare a separate pot of boiling water for the noodles. My "pet-bo" (means secret tips in Taiwanese) for the noodle soup is to the boil the noodles until only 80% done; then I drain and add the under-cooked noodles to the boiling broth to finish cooking. This way, the noodles will suck up all the yummy flavors in the soup! (I even cook pasta this way. So delicious!!). And for the grand finale, add all the seafood back into the noodles and broth, garnish with some garlic leek, serve, and slurp away!