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Category Archives: Asian

Moo Shu Noodles

OK, people.  I’m excited.  Whoops, forgot the exclamation point.  Let me try that again.


(Notice the capitalization to further illustrate my galvanized state.)

Yes, these noodles excite me.  If I had ordered them at a Chinese restaurant, I would have thoroughly enjoyed them.  It is a very tasty dish.  That in itself is exciting but not the actual source of my excitement.

What excites me is that with these noodles, I have now made my FIRST really good Asian dish.  OK, the soba noodles in peanut sauce were good.  But these are REALLY good.  I’ve been cooking mediocre Asian food for so long that my attempts were getting fewer and farther between because I was beginning to think I was a lost cause when it came to Asian cooking.  Apparently all I needed was the right recipe!

Now that I’ve got these amazing noodles under my belt, I just might be ready to spread my wings a little further and test one of Pia’s beautiful & intimidating recipes in my kitchen.  But first I’m just going to relish in the success of this one for a while and try not to make a scene as I gobble the leftovers for lunch at work tomorrow.
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

12 ounces fettuccine
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 eggs, beaten
3 medium-sized boneless pork chops, thinly sliced (it is easier to slice thinly if pork chops are slightly frozen)
Ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons ginger (about a 2-inch piece), peeled and grated*
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 pound mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 small head Napa or Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When the water comes up to a bubble, add some salt and drop in the fettuccine. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain the cooked pasta and reserve.

Combine the hoisin and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat one tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add eggs and scramble. When done, scrape them onto a plate and reserve.

In the same skillet heat two tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes (don’t overcook or pork will be tough!). Remove the meat from the pan onto the same plate as the eggs and keep warm.

Add the scallions, ginger and garlic to the pan, and cook until aromatic and the scallions are tender, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry until golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Add the cabbage to the pan and stir-fry until tender, about 3 minutes. When the cabbage is tender, add the reserved pork and scrambled eggs back to the pan along with the hoisin-soy mixture and the chicken broth. Stir-fry to fully heat through, about 1 minute, and then toss with the reserved cooked pasta. Cook to heat through and serve.

*Veronica’s Notes: Ginger is fibrous and can be difficult to finely grate if you don’t have a microplane.  I find it easiest to peel the ginger with a knife, then freeze it completely before finely shredding it.  Works like a charm.

Recipe source: My Kitchen Cafe


Black Rice Pudding

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This stuff is just amazing.  I adore it!  The coconut milk and sugar makes it a little heavy on the calories, but I justify the splurge by reminding myself that the black rice is chock full of antioxidants, even more than blueberries!

Commonly served for breakfast in parts of Southeast Asia, this dish also makes a great dessert. Chinese black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice, works well, but if you live near a Southeast Asian market you can use this same method with the more traditional Thai black sticky rice.

If you can’t find any kind of black rice, substitute brown rice (not quick-cooking) — it will result in a thicker, light-colored pudding but will still be delicious.

Black Rice Pudding

Printable recipe

1 cup black rice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 (13 1/2- to 15-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, stirred well

Bring rice, 3 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with a tight-fitting lid, 45 minutes (rice will be cooked but still wet). Stir in sugar, a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and rice is tender but still slightly chewy, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool to warm or room temperature, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir pudding and divide among 8 bowls. Stir remaining coconut milk and drizzle over pudding.

Recipe source: Gourmet, December 2005

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce

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I checked out a cookbook from the library called You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan, by Lacey Sher and Gail Doherty, and I knew as soon as I saw the recipe for the “Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce” that I had to try it. It seems that all my foodie friends are cooking up Asian fare lately and I don’t want to be the only one left in the dust, even if my past attempts have somewhat disappointing.

Well, I now have ONE successful Asian dish under my belt! I’m so proud, it’s ridiculous!

I asked my friend, Pia, what she would call this type of dish and she said “fusion” b/c the noodles are Japanese, but peanut sauce is usually used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. Whatever it is, the combo here is delicious! I rounded out the meal with some bright vegetable spring rolls, which was kind of like eating a hand-held salad. How fun is that?!

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce 
Serves 4
 Savory & simple, these soba noodles are tossed in spicy peanut sauce and served with fresh carrots and scallions. Top with snow pea shoots and sesame seeds for a gourmet touch.

8 oz soba noodles
1/2 c Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 c matchstick-cut carrots
1/4 c thinly sliced scallions
1 T toasted sesame oil
Pinch of sea salt
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Bean sprouts, for garnish

Fill a 6-quart stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Drain the noodles into a colander and run under cool water until slightly cool to the touch. Using a medium-size bowl, toss together the noodles, peanut sauce, carrot, scallion, sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Serve family style or divide into individual servings, garnished with sesame seeds and sprouts.

Peanut Sauce
Yield: 2 cups

1 c peanut butter
3 cloves garlic
3/4 c water
1/4 c plus 1 T tamari
Pinch of cayenne
1 (2.1 oz) package Eden Pickled Ginger with Shiso, with liquid, leaf removed*

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well. Will keep for 4-5 days refrigerated.

*Variation: Instead of using pickled ginger, you can add 1 T of finely grated fresh ginger, 2 T of agave syrup, and 1 T of rice vinegar.

Veronica’s Notes: I cheated and used a prepared peanut sauce (House of Tsang Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce), which was spicy and delicious. This made the recipe super easy and only took 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Also, I would imagine that sugar would work fine in place of the agave nectar (in the variation on the peanut sauce) if you don’t have any and don’t want to buy it.

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