Friday, April 13, 2012

April 1, 2012: Stir-fried Rice Noodles with Quick-Braised Vegetables, Thai Style

This keeper is adapted from a recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food, John Wiley & Sons, 2007.  He gives some great suggestions for vegetables to use, but I just used what we had on hand. Prepping all the veggies takes a bit of time, but the whole thing comes together quickly after that.

1/3 package rice noodles, prepared according to package directions, rinsed in cold water, and drained
3 T oil (I always use olive)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 chile, chopped (or you could use 2 dried chiles, or 1 t chile paste, or eliminate the chiles all together if you aren't a spice fan)
lime leaves or lime zest (we didn't have any, so I skipped this - it would have deepened the flavor, for sure)
a quantity of fresh vegetables, chopped into bite-sized pieces (we used mushrooms, broccoli, and snap peas - and we pressed 1/3 of a package of tofu and added it in with the mushrooms)
1 can coconut milk
3 T fish sauce - this is a place where I go ahead and use the real thing, not a vegan alternative. You can sub soy sauce or fish-less fish sauce if you prefer.
salt and pepper
lime wedges for serving

1. Put the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Sauté the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes until soft.
2. Stir in chiles and lime leaves.
3. Add vegetables - put in the longest cooking first, followed by the shorter cooking ones. Sauté, stirring frequently. Depending on the veggies you use, this could take 5-15 minutes.
4. When the veggies are nearly done, add the rice noodles and sauté very briefly, to heat through.
5. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer until thickened, then add fish sauce, salt and pepper.
6. Serve hot with lime wedges.

Taste this before you serve it. You may want to adjust spices with more fish sauce, or chile sauce, or by adding a bit of sugar. Trust your own palate and what you like as you finish this up.

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