The weather is starting to warm up, and I’m positively rejoicing! Not only can I sport shorts around the house, but mangos and nectarines and other not-wintry fruits and produce are starting to show up more at the market. I don’t really know if they’re seasonal… but something’s better than nothing at all!
Apart from mangos, I also came across some lovely Thai basil for 6 HKD a bunch at an Indonesian speciality stall at the market. And just a few posts ago I was lamenting to lack of affordable sweet basil… Sweet and Thai basil are definitely not the same, but I got pretty excited! Because though I can’t make any pesto with Thai basil, I love its flavours combined with mango, and I had something wonderful in mind- ‘noodle’ ‘soup’!
By now you would probably quite baffled and possibly starting to get suspicious of the quotation marks around the words noodle and soup.
Unless you’re some kind of noodle purist or soup elitist– if you happen to be one of the above you should be quite defensive at this point, in anticipation of the travesty I’m about to commit against your firmly held beliefs.
The ‘noodles’ aren’t noodles at all, but really long strips of cucumber. And the ‘soup’ is actually mango puréed with Thai basil and lime juice.
Isn’t it shocking!?
Behold the mighty raw vegan noodle soup in all its glory. If there was a noodle hierarchy with instant noodles at the bottom moving up through to pho and hand-pulled ramen, this would be the greenest, meanest of all. (While pho is the awesomest and ramen the baddest, that is!)
Technically speaking, this is more of a salad. But where’s the fun in speaking technically? And you’ve got to agree with me that it looks like noodle soup- a teeny tiny bit, at least?
If you have quit reading by now, you’re missing out on the good bit- no, you don’t need a spiralizer for this! I’ve been looking for spiralizers high and low in Hong Kong, and I haven’t been able to find one. Instead, I found the nifty little gadget below.
It’s a julienne peeler, and what it does is julienne (cut into long, thin strips) the things you use it on, be it courgettes, carrots, radishes, or, in our case, cucumber. Believe me, it is awesome.
But in case you don’t have one of these, a box grater would also do the job.
What you do is simple- keep peeling the cucumber into a magical pile of (crunchy) noodles, until you hit the seedy core. If you’ve got some good English cucumber, the core would be quite soft, and the seeds would be quite edible. In that case, you can save the core for the soup, which we’ll talk about later.
For now let’s get a good close up of that cucumber noodle action.
Dat noodle. Man, just look at it.
Oh, and here’s the promised bit about the soup- just blend!
Really, it’s that simple. After that the noodles need to marinate in the soup to soften up a little, but that’s about it and you’re good to go! I topped my big bowl of goodness with home sprouted alfalfa and some more mango, but you could do anything with yours. Like how I always say, versatility is key.
There’s not much left to say now, except enjoy your bowl of noodle soup- dig in and slurp up! 🙂
Cucumber & Mango Noodle Soup Recipe
2 English cucumbers
2 medium mangos, peeled and diced
1 large handful Thai basil (about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup alfalfa sprouts
- Using a julienne peeler, spiralizer, or box grater, turn the cucumbers into noodles. Reserve the soft seedy cores.
- Reserve 1 handful of diced mangos.
- In a blender, combine cucumber cores, mangos, Thai basil, and lime juice to form the soup base. Add a splash of water if necessary. Drizzle over cucumber noodles and mix mell. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the noodles and soup to a serving bowl. Top with alfalfa sprouts and the reserved mangos. Enjoy!