Somen Noodles and Haddock in Lemongrass-Carrot Broth

By • January 8, 2015 6 Comments

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Author Notes: I have been intrigued with the idea of using fresh juice as a sauce since reading a Bon Appétit article, "Cook Like a Pro," last March (2014). Shortly after purchasing a juicer a few weeks ago, I made this carrot broth, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten recipe, a mix of freshly juiced carrots, lime, lemongrass, and serrano chiles. The broth is light and refreshing with sharp, spicy, sour flavors that evoke many a Southeast Asian soup. The original recipe, which comes from The Chefs of the Times cookbook, calls for serving the broth with seared scallops, but I love serving the broth with noodles -- Japanese somen noodles are particularly good -- and broiled haddock, which flakes nicely and seems to better absorb the flavor of the broth than scallops. I have stuck mostly with this combination, but I imagine mushrooms and tofu or anything sponge-like in nature would work well here.

Finally, Vongerichten warns to never bring the broth to a boil because it will break, but I find that the broth always breaks, even when it is gently heating. So, I wouldn't worry about the broth breaking -- it most likely will, and the flavor doesn't seem to be affected. The broth can be made up to two hours in advance.
Alexandra Stafford


Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots or 1 1/2 cups fresh carrot juice
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 1 small chile, such as serrano, minced (if you like heat, leave in some of the seeds)
  • 1 pound flaky white fish, such as haddock
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinches kosher salt
  • small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 bundles somen noodles (about 4 ounces)
  • hot sauce such as Sriracha, optional
  1. Make the broth: Juice carrots and measure 1 1/2 cups juice. Trim lemongrass stalks to expose their tender inner core. Use a heavy skillet or saucepan and give them a good whack -- this will help the mincing process. Mince 3 teaspoons. Combine carrot juice, lemongrass, butter, lime juice, and chile, and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. As noted above, it is advised not to bring the broth to a boil, but don't worry if you do -- it most likely will break no matter how slowly you heat it. Broth can be made up to two hours in advance.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Preheat your broiler to high. Rub fish on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt. Place fish on broiling pan or cooling rack set on rimmed baking sheet and broil for five minutes, just until it begins to flake. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Boil somen noodles for 3 minutes. Drain, then divide among 4 bowls. Break the fish apart and divide among the four bowls. Scatter cilantro into each bowl. Ladle hot broth into each bowl. Serve with both chopsticks and spoons, passing more lime on the side if desired. Add Sriracha if you like more heat.

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