Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I had these at a restaurant in DC once and then shortly thereafter ran across the recipe in a cookbook I have by Nina Simonds called Asian Noodles. There are actually two almost identical recipes in the book, one just vegetable and one with shrimp. This time around I made the vegetable version.
I go through phases where I really like curry for a while then can’t stand it for a while. This is one of the things I make when I’m in the like-it phase because it’s easy and definitely gives you a curry fix. (If you don’t like curry powder, you can just stop reading right now; it’s not an optional ingredient in this recipe.)
One of the reasons I like this recipe is because I can never get my stir-fry sauce to turn out quite the way it does at a restaurant, and this one doesn’t have a cornstarch sauce that needs to thicken, so you don’t feel like you did something wrong when you’re eating it. Also it’s quick and flexible.
I think all the other times I’ve made it, I’ve used slightly thicker rice noodles, but this time I used the vermicelli that the recipe calls for. I think it would be good with pretty much any thickness of rice noodle. Also I’m pretty loose with what vegetables I use. I picked up some bok choy and a red pepper, so I used those, then added carrots, because I always put carrots in my stir fries, they’re cheap and good and pretty, and also bamboo shoots because I had them. This meant that I ended up with a lot of Singapore noodles, which I was worried about finishing before getting sick of them, but then I ate a lot of Singapore noodles so it turned out fine.
Okay enough with the background, here’s the original recipe, as printed. Feel free to adjust as much or as little as you like.
from Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds
1-1/2 tablespoons oil
1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Madras
2-1/2 cups very thinly sliced red onions
2 cups thinly sliced red bell peppers
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
Basic Chinese Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth [or vegetable broth or water]
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 pound thin rice stick noodles (vermicelli), softened in hot water and drained
1. Heat a wok or a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil and heat until very hot, about 30 seconds. Add the curry seasonings and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the red onions and stir-fry for about 1 minute, until barely tender. Add the red peppers and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the cabbage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until all are crisp-tender.
2. Add the basic Chinese sauce and the noodles, and carefully toss to mix. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot or at room temperature.