Monday, July 27, 2009

Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

Tonight's recipe was Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry from The Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson, Bart Potenza, and Barbara Scott-Goodman. So far every recipe from this book I've tried has been excellent and this was no exception.


Ease of Preparation:

Weight Friendliness:
2 (7 ww points without rice)

Maddie Friendliness:
2 (she ate the rice)
Cost of Ingredients: 3 (lots of veggies to stir fry)
Overall: 3

OMG YUM! This is easily the tastiest recipe I've prepared. G and I both gave it fives. This is the type of recipe that when you eat it, you eat it slowly to savor every mouthful (especially the mouthfuls with broccoli). This tasted exactly like the peanut sauce I get at my local Thai place except with more veggies, and that is a good thing.

The treasure here is the sauce. You can pretty much ignore all of the other instructions and just make the sauce, make a stir-fry and you'll be golden. That would probably be easier too. The instructions the author gives for how to make a stir fry were a little putzy (for example, you had to blanch several of the vegetables before stir-frying them. I've stir fried bok choy many times and the result here was not appreciably different. A few other shortcuts I'll try another time include using frozen broccoli/string beans. I've had lots of good luck with both of those vegetables in frozen form in stir fries, unlike other vegetables like onions. I also prefer to make this with udon noodles or rice. Soba noodles are always just a little too pasty for my taste.

So delicious! And so much leftover. One recipe makes 8 servings, easily. More if you add more vegetables. There is plenty of sauce here to go around, so you could also cut down on the sauce for a little more of a weight-friendly option. I'm now looking forward to miso stir fry in a couple of days!

Recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer

Spicy Soba Noodle Stir-Fry

Peanut Sauce:
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
1 small red onion
2 tablespoons cilantro
2 tbsp ginger
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 cup shoyu or tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp hot sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tbsp sesame oil

Soba Noodles and Tempeh:
1 8 oz package tempeh, cubed
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound soba noodles or thin pasta (I completely forgot this was a stir fry with soba noodles and started rice before I even opened the cookbook. So I served this with rice instead...kinda negates the whole soba noodle stir-fry title, though.)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded green cabbage (I didn't have cabbage, so I omitted this and added some extra bok choy and string beans)
1/2 cup trimmed and blanched string beans
1 1/2 cups cut and blanched broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper (I just used another green pepper due to cost)
1 green bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced blanched bok choy
1/4 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (I omitted this since I hate mushrooms :P)
1 tbsp shoyu or tamari soy sauce
2 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1. to prepare the peanut sauce, place all of the ingredients with 2 cups of water in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Place the tempeh cubes in a nonreactive bowl (I used pyrex) and cover with the peanut sauce. Refrigerate for at least a half hour or up to overnight. Drain and set aside (I just spooned the pieces of tempeh out with a slotted spoon).

3. To prepare the soba noodles, bring a large soup pot of water to a boil and add the salt and olive oil. Add the soba noodles and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

4. To prepare the stir-fry, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Add tempeh and saute for 3 to 5 minutes (the peanuty tempeh was pretty gloppy and sticky in the pan). Add the garlic, ginger, onion, cabbage, string beans, and broccoli and stir-fry for 5 minutes, then add the peppers, bok choy, and mushrooms, and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the peanut sauce (I reused the peanut sauce from the marinade too) and continue to saute, tossing the vegetables, tempeh cubes, and sauce together until done, about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your taste.

5. Add the shoyu or tamari soy sauce and sesame oil and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes. Serve the vegetables over the soba noodles (or rice!).

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