The Sichuan province in the southwestern corner of China is known for its fiery dishes. Here, the richness of tahini tempers the spicy chile paste in this cup-of-noodles-style mason jar soup recipe. You can grind the Sichuan peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, or crush them with the bottom of a heavy skillet.
Tips: Great for flavoring soups, stews and sauces, bouillon paste has a spoonable consistency that makes it easy to portion just the amount you need. To keep sodium in check, opt for reduced-sodium offerings.
For 1 1/2 cups cooked noodles, start with 3 to 4 ounces dry. Boil the noodles about 1 minute less than the package directions so they are slightly underdone. Drain and rinse well with cold water before assembling in jars.
Black vinegar--or ching-kiang vinegar--adds a rich, smoky flavor to many Chinese dishes. Look for it in Asian markets and specialty food shops. Balsamic, sherry or white vinegars can be used as substitutes.
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 1. Refrigerate covered jars for up to 3 days.
Equipment: Three 1 1/2-pint wide-mouth canning jars
Serving Size: 2 cups
396 calories; protein 18.9g; carbohydrates 60.9g; dietary fiber 11.4g; sugars 2.8g; fat 12g; saturated fat 1.6g; cholesterol 50mg; vitamin a iu 727.8IU; vitamin c 12.2mg; folate 58.2mcg; calcium 292mg; iron 5.2mg; magnesium 54.2mg; potassium 337mg; sodium 578.1mg.