Friday, September 25, 2009

Thai Drunken Noodles

~ 8oz Asian noodles, cooked al dente according to instructions (I used a Chinese egg noodle, but Thai rice noodles would also work)
5-6 dried shitake, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then chopped
two eggs
3-4 T vegetable oil
1/4 C fish sauce
1/4 C black soy sauce (or soy sauce with a touch of molasses)
1/4 C golden mountain sauce (could substitute soy sauce, but just wouldn't be the same)
generous pinch of sugar
2 shallots, finely chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
Thai chiles to taste, finely chopped (this should be fairly spicy. Serranos could be substituted in place of Thai chiles)
large handful of basil, roughly chopped (try to find Thai basil, has more of an anise note that works well here)

Heat the oil in a wok, saute the shallot, garlic, and chiles; push those up the sides and stir fry / scramble the eggs. Toss in the mushrooms and noodles, and stir fry briefly before adding the sauces. Stir fry for another couple of minutes tossing thoroughly. The basil leaves should be added at the last minute.

This is one of those recipes that can easily be modified, adding bean sprouts at the end of cooking, fried tofu after the eggs (or unfried tofu before the eggs), and just about any veggie you might want. Adding in ground pork or chicken before the eggs would also be traditional (the eggs could also be omitted if you added meat or tofu, but I like them in it)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vegetarian wontons

~ 4 oz tofu, pressed and finely chopped
4-5 dried shitake mushrooms, prepared as Seasoned Mushrooms
half carrot, finely chopped
1-2 shallots, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 T soy sauce
1-2 t Chinese rice wine
splash sesame oil
wonton wrappers

Mix all of the ingredients except the wrappers in a bowl and allow to sit for half an hour. Place in wrappers, sealing the edges in the typical fashion with a little water. So far I've only fried these (350 degree F oil until golden brown) and served them with a little soy, but I could see them working in wonton soup. It should be noted that for these to be truly vegetarian a low sodium vegetable broth or water should be substituted for the dashi when preparing the mushrooms.

Seasoned mushrooms

Two handfuls of dried shitake mushrooms
1 C dashi
1/4 C soy sauce
splash mirin
splash sake

Take dried shitake mushrooms and soak in hot water for 20 minutes or so; remove and trim off stems while reserving the cooking liquid. Add the cooking liquid to a pan with dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sake. Put in the mushrooms, making sure that they are in a single layer all in the liquid. Simmer over medium to medium low until most of the liquid is gone, turning the mushrooms once or twice. These can be used for sushi, drunken noodles, vegetarian wontons, or anywhere else shitakes might be used.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Two cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans)
3-6 T tahini (very roughly)
lemon juice
olive oil
minced garlic

This is a very basic recipe, just toss everything in the food processor and adjust to taste and texture preference. As a bit of guideline, make sure you don't go too light on the tahini; early on my roommate in under grad who taught me to make hummus accused me of making poor man's hummus when I didn't put enough tahini in (tahini is the most expensive ingredient). The oil is what you vary to control the texture; I typically put in less than restaurants do because I like mine thick enough to stick to pita and with less fat. Generally You'll want to toss in 4-5 cloves of garlic to start, along with several tablespoons of lemon juice, about 3 T of tahini, a healthy splash of olive oil, and a hefty pinch of salt. From there just keep adjusting until you have something the consistency you want (for me thick and spreadable, for your typical version more akin to a sauce) with a nice rich taste and just enough garlic to wonder if you should go find a toothbrush before continuing your date (I'll save you the questioning: you should). Serve with pita.