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As I write the title of this recipe, it sounds a little odd. It's unusual to see Israeli couscous in a dish with primarily Asian flavors. We'll call it Fusion Cuisine. As wiseGEEK defines it:
Fusion cuisine blends the culinary traditions of two or more nations to create innovative and sometimes quite interesting dishes. It tends to be more common in culturally diverse and metropolitan areas, where there is a wider audience for such food. Some common examples include Pacific Rim cuisine and Tex-Mex food.
This fusion dish came from a craving for ramen, and not fancy restaurant ramen, but the kind that you buy in college for 10-cents a packet. At some point, reading the barrage of bizarre ingredients on the spice packet convinced me that my Top Ramen days were over: disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caramel color, MSG, to name just a few.
But I have good news! The savory rich broth of the mystery packet is easy to replicate with simple ingredients that you may already have in your refrigerator. And though Israeli couscous looks nothing like ramen noodles, the bite and flavor are similar.
Just for fun, I decided to capture a common lunch scene at our house - a view from the opposite side of the camera.
Ginger Soy Israeli Couscous with Baby Bok Choy
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups Israeli couscous
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup pickled ginger coarsely chopped
- 4 heads baby bok choy cleaned and sliced crosswise into ½-inch ribbons
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce or more
- 2 tablespoons chopped Tamari roasted almonds
- In a medium saucepan, combine chicken stock and Israeli couscous; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes.
- Add garlic, pickled ginger and baby bok choy. Cook and stir 2 minutes more, until vegetables and Israeli couscous are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha (adding more of any one of these to taste).
- Divide soup among 4 bowls and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Serve.