Sprout It: Fish Soup with Cellophane Noodles and Fenugreek Sprouts

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Serves 4
The angular golden seeds of fenugreek lend a bittersweet flavor and musky aroma to Asian and Indian foods. This traditional Malaysian soup with fenugreek sprouts is quick and easy to prepare. Cellophane noodles, which are made from the starch of green mung beans, and the fish sauce nam pla are available at Oriental food stores.

  • 1 ounce cellophane noodles
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala or curry ­powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon nam pla
  • ½ pound skinless, boneless white fish, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup fenugreek sprouts
  1. Place the cellophane noodles in a large bowl and add 1 cup hot water; set aside. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, garam masala or curry powder, and red pepper.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and golden. Add the remaining 3 cups of hot water and nam pla.
  3. Bring to a boil and add the fish. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer the fish for 3 minutes, or until it is nearly cooked through (opaque). Stir in the soaked cellophane noodles with any remaining water and the fenugreek sprouts.
  4. Simmer for 2 minutes longer, or until the noodles are soft. Serve immediately.

Maggie Oster, who lives alternately in Indiana and Kentucky, writes extensively about herbs, food, gardening, cooking, landscape design, flowers and crafts. Her books include Recipes from an American Herb Garden and Herbal Vinegar.

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