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Hearty & Heartwarming Pepper Power

The Jing Yao Pepper soup ramen review is a little different from the others we've covered! To me, it is more like a soup starter than a whole soup. There are six packets in each bag you buy. Half those packets are a blend of noodles, seasoning, soy curls, gluten, and dried veg. The other half are packs of cornstarch and more seasoning. You pair the two different packs together to make one pot of soup, which has around 4 servings in itself. Pepper soup is known for its complex taste profile, and is even thought to have healing properties by some, due to the variety of seasonings used. Here is a translation of the back:

To start, bring 1000 ml/4 cups of water to a boil with the noodles/veg/soy packet. Adding additional broth flavoring is optional, but the directions do advise against adding any more salt. So I just added a single bouillon cube to add a little more to the broth, since the 4 cups of water would dilute the salt in the cube. You could also add any additional veg at this point. While waiting for this mixture to boil, you can move onto preparing the next packet.

While that is cooking, tip the starchy packet into a bowl and add 260 ml/1 cup of cool water to that. Mix to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the pot to thicken the soup and stir. Once it returns to a boil, you're done! Feel free to enjoy the aromatic pepper and star anise blend of the soup, adding vinegar and sesame seed oil to taste, as recommended by the directions.

Or, you could take it up a notch. When researching the soup, I read from one Chinese woman that she recommends cooking it with carrots, tomatoes, and adding cilantro as a garnish. I did the same (plus celery, my soup soulmate) and it definitely added layers of flavor. I even added some more soy curls to add more protein. Those are easy to cook with and have a very substantial, meaty texture that grips the flavor around it like pasta due to that texture. You only need to soak them until they are just reconstituted (this brand took just a few minutes) and add them to whatever dish you are making. You could personalize it as you want. I can imagine it would be great with pork belly or thin beef slices, or different vegetables like bok choy or spinach.

I had this with leftover rice since I had added so much, but there are still noodles in there, so it still counts for this review! I also added the dried packet to noodles and the peppery, star anise-ey flavor was very refreshing as it balanced well with the other flavors in my ramen, and added protein from the soy curls.

We have a few different flavors of this soup... green (mild), orange (5 spice), and red (mala).


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