Don’t get me wrong; I love a good ham sandwich. Slathering some honey mustard on a slice of crusty artisan bread and adding thin slices of leftover ham works perfectly well for me. So does ham on a homemade biscuit with a bit of mayonnaise and mango chutney.
But, what about all the ham that’s still left over, especially after Easter? (Have you heard the definition of eternity as two people and a ham?) I suggest a quick ham soup with Asian flavors.
Take a walk through the Asian foods section of a well-stocked supermarket and look for rice stick noodles. They are thin, dry white noodles made from rice flour and are typically packaged in cellophane bags. The noodles are available in assorted widths, from 1/16 to 1/4 inch wide; any width will work for this recipe.
Pick up some dried Chinese black mushrooms as well. (They are a handy pantry item if you like to make Asian-style recipes.) If fresh shiitake mushrooms are available, use them instead. You needn’t soak fresh mushrooms; just discard the stems, slice the tops and add them with the ham to the soup.
A final note. Whether you covered your ham with pineapple slices and poked it with cloves or coated it with brown sugar and Bourbon, any style of ham will work well in this soup.
Morgan is author of “Cooking for the Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals.”