As warned, this recipe turned out a bit bland for me. I tried to follow the recipe as much as possible, other than substituting green onions for celery (I don't really think it made a huge difference overall), sugar snap peas for snow peas (my grocery store didn't have snow peas - weird!), and using a thicker rice noodle (which I think was a good choice). Soaked the noodles for several minutes before adding to the soup. Used low-sodium broth, which was I'm sure the culprit. The mix of ingredients was good though - the ginger and onion were great (I used a sweet onion), and the other veggies and the shrimp gave a nice flavor. With the blandness of the broth, the red pepper really is what salvaged this dish - it was spicy, but not too spicy for my wimpy tongue. A happy mistake actually made this dish a thousand times better: I accidentally left the stove on low while I was eating, and when I went back for seconds, the soup had simmered down and the broth was significantly reduced. The noodles soaked up the broth, making them fluffy and flavorful, and the rest of the ingredients were more pronounced. The reduced dish was not as soupy, but everyone at the table (me, my boyfriend, and a friend) all agreed that it worked well. If you like salt and want more soup than noodles, I suggest going by the book on this recipe and using full-sodium broth. If you're trying to watch your sodium intake, use a smaller amount of the low-sodium broth and cook the soup on low for much longer.
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As warned, this recipe turned out a bit bland for me. I tried to follow the recipe as much as...