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Archive for the ‘Noodle’ Category

Broccoli Beef Udon Bowl

Broccoli Beef Udon Bowl

1 lb udon noodles, fresh
3 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup beef broth
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sherry or sake
2 tbsp honey or agave (more or less to taste)
1 cup carrot, sliced or shredded
1 lb ground beef
1-2 cups broccoli florets

green onions or sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
 
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with a couple tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook ground beef until cooked thoroughly. 
  2. Add broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but crisp.  Add carrot and garlic, saute 2 minutes.
  3. Combine soy sauce, sake, and honey in a small bowl, stir with a whisk. Stir in soy sauce mixture with the vegetables, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in noodles and broth.  Cook noodles 3-4 minutes, until al dente. Top with green onion or sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.

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This noodle salad is perfect for summer entertaining: served warm or at room temperature, it features garden-fresh cucumbers and bell peppers which are ubiquitous during the summer months.  Topped with a savory-sweet-tangy sauce, it is best served with Asian rice noodles but, in a pinch, pasta noodles are just as delicious (which is what we served here). 

Summer Vegetable Chicken Noodle Salad with Cucumbers and Peppers

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
Spicy Asian Dressing
Coarse salt
3 1/2 ounces Chinese rice noodles, broken in half if long (we used pasta as an easy pantry substitute)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
2 carrots, sliced long
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise 
2 bell peppers, sliced 
Bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fresh mint leaves, red-pepper flakes, and sliced scallion greens, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Place chicken and half of dressing in a resealable plastic bag (reserve remaining dressing). Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate up to overnight).
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a platter.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook chicken (do not crowd skillet) until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to platter on top of noodles.
  4. Top with carrots, cucumber, and peppers. Drizzle with reserved dressing, and sprinkle with garnishes, if desired.

Ingredients

4 thinly sliced scallion whites
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 1 minced canned anchovy)
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients.

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One of my favorite meats as a child was braised five spice beef.  It wasn’t often my mother prepared the dish, but one I always devoured.  Rice Kernel took awhile warming up to to the dish – mostly because the cartilege and connective tissue in the cut of meat are diffucult for little mouths to chew.  Whie this recipe isn’t authentic due to the addition or red wine, the extra ingredient adds a depth and earthiness that I much prefer.  Tonight, the beef is sliced thin and tossed with linguine, sauteed red cabbage, carmelized onions, sliced carrots and a handful of green onion and cilantro.  I’ve seasoned it simply with soy sauce, salt, pepper and seasame oil to taste.

Five Spice Beef, from Ming Tsai

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed peppers
8 thin slices fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds beef shank
1 cup soy sauce
4 cups red wine
1 tablespoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon salt
3 pieces star anise
Dash cinnamon powder
1 large piece rock candy or a few teaspoons of honey (1-inch cube)

Directions

  1. Prepare a large non-stick stock-pot coated with oil over high heat. Add the crushed pepper, ginger, and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Place the beef in the stock-pot and cook, covered about 4 minutes on each side. Add the soy sauce, red wine, five spice powder, salt, star anise, cinnamon, and rock candy and bring the mixture to a boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours turning the shank every 20 minutes. Remove the shank from the pot and let cool before slicing.

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Rice Kernel has always been my helper in the kitchen.  He loves to “cook” and taste.  I have fond memories of my little 15-18 month old asking me, “Can I try a little?” to every ingredient I would touch or prepare.  It didn’t matter if I was preparing pasta, cauliflower or making cookies, he wanted a taste of everything.

One thing he has never been able to help with directly is noodles.  Cooking noodles usually requires a large, hot vat of water.  And, although I have a cautious child, it’s probably still not the time to let him stir pasta.  Recently, we came upon a package of rice stick noodle at the grocery store.  Used throughout Asia in soups, spring rolls, cold salads, and stir-fries, rice stick noodles are made of rice flour and can be thin or thick. Rice Kernel has only had the product once, but I thought it would be fun for him to  “cook” the noodles and watch them become edible.  The key to preparing them is to soak the dried noodles in hot water until they’re soft (about 15 minutes), then boil them briefly (from 1 to 3 minutes). 

Sure enough, my little one gobbled up the noodles as he was “cooking” them in warm water (we had to use several vats of warm water for safety’s sake, but one soaking with hot boiling water would otherwise suffice).  But, afterwards, he said to me, “These are definitely more yummy once you add salt and soy sauce, Mom.  And veggies an meat.”  Agreed.

Rice Stick Noodle Stir-Fry

Ingredients

Rice stick noodles (about 220 grams)
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade or low-sodium storebought
1 cup roasted, sliced pork, chicken, beef or shrimp
1/2 head small napa cabbage
1/2 head small purple cabbage
1 carrot, sliced thinly
3-4 green onions, sliced or 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Soak the dry rice sticks in hot water for about 5-10 min.  (If your water is not hot enough, you may need to change the water a few times to soften the noodles more.) Take it out and set it aside.
  2. In a deeper pan, stir fry your vegetables in a bit of salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. In the same pan pour chicken broth, a few tsp of soy sauce, and a drizzle of sesame oil.  Add the softened rice sticks to the soup and let the soup soak into the noodle evenly. Cook the noodles thoroughly, making them evenly moist. If necessary, add more water or soup and flip the noodles in the pan.
  4. When the noodles are done, add the vegetables. You can add more salt, pepper, sugar, broth, etc. to your taste.
  5. Toss in your protein and serve hot.

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The taste of Asian takeout made easy with this speedy, at-home stir-fry.  Inspired by Korean jap-chae, you can use traditional sweet potato starch noodles, cellophane noodles or thin rice noodles.  
 
Stir-Fry Cellophane Noodles
 
 
Ingredients
 
3 oz. sweet potato starch noodles, bean threads (cellophane noodles) or thin rice noodles
1/4 cup canola or peanut oil
3 Tbs. soy sauce
1-1/2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
1-1/2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/2 lb. flank steak, pork, chicken or firm tofu (we went vegetarian tonight)
Kosher salt
Your choice of vegetable, such as 1 small zucchini (about 6 oz.), halved and thinly sliced crosswise into half circles, 1 cup bean sprouts or 1 cup sliced cabbage
1 cup matchstick-cut or grated carrot (1 large carrot)
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise into half circles
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds, optional
 
Directions
  1. Bring a 3-qt. pot of water to a boil. Add the bean threads or rice noodles, remove from the heat, and let sit until just softened (they should still be plenty toothy), about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse well under cool, running water. Toss with 1 Tbs. of the canola or peanut oil, and spread out on a tray or large plate.
  2. NOTE: My preferred method of cooking bean threads (cellophane noodles) is to cook them in chicken stock for 3-5 minutes.   Then I toss in 1-2 tsp of olive oil and set aside.  Add enough chicken stock so that the noodles seem slightly soupy.  They will absorb the additional liquid as they sit. 
  3. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. Trim the beef of excess fat and slice it thinly across the grain. Cut the slices into 2-inch pieces. Season the beef with salt.
  4. Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the canola or peanut oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet or large stir-fry pan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until it loses most of its raw appearance, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large plate.
  5. Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil and the vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the beef and the noodles. Stir the soy mixture and drizzle it over all. Cook, tossing until everything is evenly coated with the sauce and the vegetables are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the sesame seeds, if desired.

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