• 1 tablespoon cooking oil
• 6 scallions including green tops, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
• 3 1/2 cups water
• 3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
• 4 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
• 3/4 pound napa (Chinese) cabbage (about 1/2 head), leaves shredded (about 3 cups)
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 small head bok choy (about 3/4 pound), stalks halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves shredded
• Grated zest of 1 lemon
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/4 pound vermicelli
• 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil


1. In a large saucepan, heat the cooking oil over moderately low heat. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, red-pepper flakes, water, and broth and bring to a boil.
2. Add the carrots to the broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and salt and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Add the bok choy and lemon zest and simmer until the bok choy starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the vermicelli until just done, about 9 minutes. Drain. Return the noodles to the pot and toss with the sesame oil. Put some noodles in each of four bowls and ladle the soup over the noodles.

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