Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thick Rice Noodles with Stir-Fried Vegetables

It's easiest to prepare the vegetables first. Use whatever you have on hand or crave as any vegetable combination works. Above, we roasted thin slices of eggplant in a 400 degree F. oven for about 15 minutes before stir-frying with onions, garlic, green chilies, carrots, shitake mushrooms and snow peas. Cook the veggies fast over high heat in a non-stick skillet or wok. The hotter the pan the less oil you'll need.

Once the vegetables are done to your liking - no overcooking please - set them aside while you deal with the noodles. Don't worry, we'll reheat the veggies and season shortly.

Cafe Drake HRV has fallen head over heels for these wide, square rice noodles that curl and uncurl into chewy cylindrical shapes as they cook. Any type of rice noodles will suffice but the wider ones are recommended for stir-fries. In our opinion only. In the moody, murky photo above you'll note the noodles soaking. Follow package directions but the most common method for stir-frying thicker, wider rice noodles is to soak them for 5 minutes in tap water before boiling for 3-5 minutes. Drain the noodles and add to stir-fry or soup.

The blanched and drained noodles are added to the sauteed vegetables. At this point, return the skillet (or wok) to high heat.

Season generously with oyster sauce (again, we used the vegetarian oyster sauce, available at all Asian markets) and soy sauce (50/50 ratio is a good idea) and stir-fry with vigor. Add white pepper and cook a few seconds longer.

Pan-Fried Rice Noodles and Vegetables and Romaine and Scallion Salad with Peanut Dressing
above and below: the reason we keep harping on harnessing leftovers for lunch! Stir-fried rice noodles, calabacitas, toasted cornbread and salad.


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