Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beanthread Noodles With Tofu and Green Vegetables

Yesterday's lunch?


This is not the most glamorous dish in the world, but it has the virtue of being a quick one-pot meal that it tasty and nutritious. I find that stir-fried (so-called - I used stock, not oil) vegetables are so quickly done they barely take longer than a salad. If you then throw them together with already-cooked brown rice or with quickly cooked noodles, then you have a filling meal in no time.

In this case I boiled the kettle and poured boiling water on around 90 to 100 grams (enough for two people) of beanthread noodles - the ones that are sometimes called glass noodles - which are, as their name says, made from the soybean. There's no need to cook these more than that, and it's best not to do it too far in advance of wanting to eat them because they can get a bit on the soggy side! Mine did yesterday - which was really too bad. But, hey, we ate 'em anyway! Best to give them around ten minutes at most.

I had put around 1/4 pkg. of firm tofu to marinate with a Tbsp reduced sodium soysauce and a little minced garlic and minced ginger (when I'm in a rush I grab all this from jars) and some sambal oelek, which is an Indonesian crushed chili
in vinegar and other things. Then I chopped a stalk of celery, some bok choy stems (saving the leaves for a little later in the preparation), a few 'coins' of fresh ginger cut in slivers, finely chopped clove of garlic, a few sliced mushrooms and some onion and set them into a skillet with a little water to soften a tiny bit.

Then I added around half a green pepper and, at the last minute, snowpeas cut on the diagonal along with some previously opened canned sliced water chestnuts and bamboo shoots, a couple of handfuls of beansprouts - and those shredded bokchoy leaves. Oh yes - AND the tofu! (There may have been something else in there, but I think that's it.) I stirred these around, popped the lid on for a minute or two to wilt the leaves, then rescued the noodles, quickly snipping them into shorter lengths with the kitchen scissors and tossing them in the pan with the veggies.

I found I hadn't made it as spicy as I wanted, so I added crushed red chilies at the table.

Gotta work on how to use beanthread noodles a bit - it's been years since I have cooked with them and one does indeed lose the knack!

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