Tag Archives: noodles

Asian Noodle Options

6 Jan

When I am at at Chinese restaurant that specializes in noodles, there are usually just two noodle types I could choose between, the thin rice vermicelli or the chewy rice ovalettes. I think about getting the rice vermicelli some times but I always end up ordering the rice ovalettes. The vermicelli can be a little bland but the rice ovalettes keep more flavor. I order the dish with salted mustard greens and shredded pork instead of a stir-fried version with soy sauce (most Chinese restaurants don’t have wheat-free Tamari on hand). Since I’m usually ordering the same noodle dish, I figured I could try to learn and make them myself. In doing so I have discovered a whole lot of other options of Asian noodles. There are rice noodles, green bean noodles, potato starch noodles… it’s a whole new world of noodles. Here’s a great write up of 11 types of Gluten-Free Asian Noodles from the Kitchn.

Noodles dishes are a big thing for my family. We intentionally serve noodles during birthdays because long noodles means a long life. We eat nian gao (the rice ovalettes) during Chinese New year. Nian gao translates into sticky cake and my mom says we eat nian gao so that our luck can stick on us and continue into the following year. (Actually there are two versions of nian gao the savory noodle dish or a sweet cake version which is more like a dessert- but for purpose sake I’m writing about the savory dish). I found a recipe online from Steamy Kitchen with great pictures and is probably very similar to what I get at the restaurants. I haven’t tried it out yet but would definitely try it with with wheat-free soy. I would include my own recipe but I haven’t really measured all my ingredients and it’s similar to what I previous wrote in a previous blog entry about Noodles. Seriously all my noodles have similar ingredients but because of the type of noodles I use, the flavors may be slightly different based on the noodle itself. For example, a rice vermicelli noodles stir-fry would need more oil otherwise it would be too dry. I just made a nian gao noodle dish this week that was so good, I altered my ingredients a tad by adding a touch of sesame oil and cilantro. Yummy!


Feeling a bit Thai’d Up

15 Nov

My friend was coming over for dinner and I had not defrosted any meat to prepare a meal and was not feeling especially excited about cooking at the moment. I was thinking about my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood and Thaiger was the first restaurant that popped in my head. But the weather was rainy and cold so I felt too lazy to trek over there since it was north of me. So I figured I’d make my own Pad Thai (minus peanuts and egg). Haha, yeah from not feeling like cooking to totally wanting to make Pad Thai is very random for me, but I got excited becausse I’ve never made it before. Plus even though I didn’t want to go out to get pre-made Thai food from my favorite restaurant, I still had to go out to the grocery store to buy most of the ingredients. Yeah I had a very confusing night, but I had to pass the grocery store anyway, from picking up Mantou from daycare.

But I was glad I did, the pad thai turned out great. When I was looking up recipes online I actually started with the search being “gluten free vegan pad thai” and I got a few good results but nothing that really looked authentic.  But when the results actually come up saying “authentic” then it’s worth a second glance; from the blog Savory Sweet Life, I used her Pad Thai Recipe.

This was my first attempt to make pad thai from scratch so I had to buy some vital ingredients. For the sauce I needed to buy tamarind concentrate and palm sugar. In the recipe the sauce was “ready” after the palm sugar dissolved into the fish sauce, tamarind, and garlic mixture and the blogger suggested to taste it to see if it needed to add extra sugar or spice. When I first tasted it, it was soooooo salty! I was a little scared that I might have to throw it out. I added two tablespoons of brown sugar just to tame it a bit. Fish sauce was the culprit, I have no idea of there is a certain brand to buy or if all fish sauce was this salty. Anyway, I put the sauce aside and prepared my rice noodles and tofu.

I only needed to boil the rice noodles for ~5 minutes, I didn’t want them to get too mushy. In the meantime I cut up a block of tofu into thirds then sprinkled some rice flour on them. I heated up some corn oil and let the pan get warmed up then tossed two slabs of tofu into the pan. When the bottoms of the tofu turned golden (leave them in the pan for a couple of minutes untouched) I flipped them over so the other side would turn brown. When the two were done I put the third slab onto the pan to fry. Then I put the tofu aside, let them cool before further cutting them into cubes.

I heated a wok and added some oil then added the garlic and onion, letting the onions soften. I added the carrots next since I like carrots to be cooked a little longer. Then I added the cooked noodles and tossed them all together. Added the Pad Thai sauce and evenly mixed it in with the noodles. I added the bean sprouts, green onion, then tofu to the noodles and again tossed them in the wok. When I tasted the complete dish the saltiness of the sauce disappeared. The Pad Thai all came together at the end. I did get a complaint later that it was a little too sweet, so I should have not added those 2 extra tablespoons of brown sugar.

Different Noodle, Same Recipe

25 Oct

I haven’t fallen off the blogging bandwagon, just life kind of gets me preoccupied. So I’ll just share a picture of a great noodle dish I made a few weeks back. When I think about it, the recipe is pretty much the same. The difference it the type of noodles. In this one I used rice noodles (Guilin-type rice noodles).

I’ve used bean thread noodles too – except for these you need a lot of extra broth/water because those noodles take in a lot of liquid. Sometimes I’ll add a few different ingredients. This noodle dish I added mushrooms, but in others I’ve added baby corn, and other types of veggies – sometimes it’s broccoli, maybe baby choy sum, or whatever veggie I bought from the market.  But always in my noodle recipes I include some yellow onion (usually 1/2), a carrot, two stalks of celery, wheat-free tamari, white pepper and salt.

Prepare the noodles according to the package. Rinse the noodles in cold water and let drain. While the noodles are boiling or draining you can cook up the other ingredients. Over med-high heat add some vegetable oil in a wok. Let the wok heat up a little and then add the sliced onions. If you want to add any protein you can do so now. I then add the carrots and celery and saute for about 2-3 minutes. I then add mushrooms (if you’re using other veggies you can add them in too). Let the veggies cook and when tender add the noodles. Add some tamari (around 1 tablespoon), salt and white pepper then mix the veggies with the noodles. If the noodles are soaking up the liquid and the noodles seem dry you may want to add some water or broth but by doing so you may need more seasoning so adjust Tamari, salt, and pepper to your taste.

Here’s a picture of Mantou eating up these noodles.