I made this “Make-Up” Meatless Monday last week with the kids while Dave was out of town. Somewhere along the way, I got a week behind. This one brought me back on track. It is Sunday night as I write this. We had THREE meatless mondays this week: Monday, Wednesday and tonight, since I will be gone at book club tomorrow.
Again, I didn’t really have a plan, except for a sort of vague asian noodle theme. My menu choices are mostly determined by what I don’t have, rather than what I have. I wonder how common that is? It certainly makes things more interesting. — though I find you get sidetracked when searching the web for inspiration. You know how it is, you aim for goodfood.co.uk, or something, and end up at learning new crochet stitches…. It happens. But I find that at least lacking ingredients narrows my choices down a little.
Anyway, I was flipping through The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook and was intrigued by:
- Pho: had some cooked chicken and good broth. No bean sprouts, no cilantro: deal breakers.
- Miso Ramen with all the Trimmings: had the hard boiled eggs (from Easter!). Had the Chinese noodles, broth… No Instant Dashi granules. Damn! I keep forgetting to look for those at the store…
- Spicy Korean Tofu Stew: had the tofu, the broth… no fresh shitakes, only dried. Plus… Charlie might ax-murder me in my sleep if I made him eat tofu again. Since Dave was out of town that night, I decided not to chance it.
- Quick Noodle Stir Fry: had the noodles, but not thick ones. Had chives, but not Chinese ones. Had Maggie Gin stir fry sauce, but not Maggi sauce (What is Maggi sauce, anyway?). Had sweetened Chinese rice wine, but not regular Chinese rice wine… I think I can make this work! I’m calling it:
Jen Jen Noodles*
Cook the chinese noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and toss with about 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.
In a wok — here’s mine. I’ve had it since college and paid about $10 for it at Pier One. I should be embarrassed — it looks awful — but according to just about anyone who uses one, it looks just like it is supposed to — nasty!
Par-cook a handful of broccoli and one carrot (sliced) in boiling water (in the wok) until just barely, barely tender. Should still retain crunch! Then plunge into an ice bath and drain. Dry the wok and put back over high heat.
When it’s hot again, add about 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté a clove or two of minced garlic and a handful of chopped chives about a minute. Add the broccoli and carrot. Also add whatever you can dig up that sounds good. I threw in about 1 cup of shelled edamame and completely forgot to throw in the asparagus (from the garden, no less!). Toss around a bit.
Add 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons Maggie Gin stir fry sauce, 1 tablespoon sweetened rice wine, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons fish sauce. Add the noodles and toss like mad or they will clump. Once heated through, it’s done. Drizzle with about 1 teaspoon additional sesame oil if desired. Oh, I forgot: I also sprinkled toasted peanuts over the top (which, for some reason don’t appear in the photo) and sliced up a hard boiled egg that didn’t turn out to be very hard. The egg was sort of gross. The rest was great.
*get it? Like Dan Dan Noodles.