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by Sarah Steimer

Bill and I made pad thai for Valentine's Day last year --- and the result was pretty awful. The amount of fish sauce that recipe called for totally overwhelmed the dish and tasted like a dirty ocean. This Martha Stewart recipe, however, had one of the shortest list of sauce ingredients: only three. Looks like simple is best for pad thai.

Bill and I made pad thai for Valentine’s Day last year — and the result was pretty awful. The amount of fish sauce that recipe called for totally overwhelmed the dish and tasted like a dirty ocean. This Martha Stewart recipe, however, had one of the shortest list of sauce ingredients: only three. Looks like simple is best for pad thai.

  • 8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 14-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/3 cup julienned daikon radish
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped

NOTE: This recipe requires some quick working over the stove, so it’s very important to get all of your ingredients ready before you begin cooking.

Soak the noodles according to package directions.

Whisk together the brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Warm the sauce over very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat off and cover to keep warm.

Heat either a large pan or a wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add a couple teaspoons of vegetable oil and allow the oil to get very hot, but not smoke. NOTE: A nonstick pan does work best for cooking tofu, but it is not necessary. If you do not have a nonstick pan, be sure to get the pan and oil very hot so the tofu does not stick.

I've used both a wok and a regular (not nonstick) pan for this meal and both turned out great.

I’ve used both a wok and a regular (not nonstick) pan for this meal and both turned out great.

Carefully add the tofu to the hot oil, which will pop when it meets the remaining water in the tofu. Cook the tofu over medium heat, occasionally tossing until the pieces are golden. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

If needed, add a touch more oil to the hot pan. Add the onion whites, garlic, carrots and daikon. Cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan.

Add the eggs to the clear side of the pan (do not worry if the egg trickles into the veggies a bit). Use a spatula to move the eggs around, cooking until just set. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.

Add the drained rice noodles and the warm soy sauce mixture to the vegetables in the pan. Toss everything quickly to coat. Add the eggs — breaking them up as you go — and the tofu.

Serve the pad thai topped with the onion greens, cilantro and peanuts.

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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by Sarah Steimer

I made these on the first day of spring - unintentionally, I promise. It wasn't until I started eating them that I noticed the connection. I swear I'm cool.

  • 8 rice papers
  • 3-4 ounces of brown rice noodles – this is about half of the usual-sized pack
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes (crushed red pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • soy sauce, for dipping

Cut sweet potato into long and thin sticks (about 1/4-inch thick) and slice onion (not dice).

These would be awesome as appetizers - but only make as many as you need. They're less than great the day after because the rice paper gets kind of tough.

In a small bowl, mix together the chili flakes, garlic, honey, vinegar and salt. Toss sweet potato and onion with the chili mixture. Place on a baking tray and roast at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until the sweet potato begins to brown.

Cook brown rice noodles according to package directions. Drain hot water into a dish or other low-walled pan that is big enough to fit the rice paper.

Soak a sheet of rice paper in the warm water for 10-15 seconds then place flat on a cutting board. Add a few noodles, sweet potato sticks and onions on the rice paper and roll up. Start by folding the paper over the mixture length-wise, then fold in the sides on the left and the right before rolling the rest of the way up, length-wise.

Here’s a video if that’s not terribly clear.

Repeat steps until you use up all the filling. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

Makes eight spring rolls.

Recipe adapted from: Naturally Ella

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