I love noodles dishes, especially with an Asian flavour. One of my all-time favourite comfort dishes is Pad Thai, which uses the dried flat rice noodles (called rice sticks) and which are rehydrated before adding them to the other cooked ingredients.
On a trip to New York a few years ago, a friend and I stayed in a hotel in the Korean part of Manhattan (near Herald Square). We ate at nearby restaurants and I was introduced to Japchae, a Korean dish that uses dried noodles made from Sweet Potato starch. They are sometimes called Korean Glass noodles. Click on the link; it’s a very fun video and a great recipe.
More recently I discovered Shirataki noodles, which may be found in your grocery store’s dairy or tofu cooler. There appear to be 2 types, one made from Tofu and the other from White Yam. They look the same to me, but I prefer to use the Yam noodles just because I am not a big fan of things made of tofu. (I don’t mind tofu itself once in a while.) Also, the package proclaims them to be soy and gluten free and to have 1 gram of Carbs and NO calories. (Don’t ask me. It’s a miracle, I know!) They are great in Sunomono Salad. And tonight I am using them instead of Udon or rice noodles in Sweet and Tangy Sesame Noodles.
Instead of boiling the noodles, I just opened 2-8 oz. packages of Shirataki noodles, rinsed them well in cold water, drained them, and then microwaved them for 90 seconds. (For one package, nuke for a minute.) Then I rinsed and drained them again and set them aside. Other than that, I made the recipe as directed.
Sweet and Tangy Sesame Noodles (adapted from Georgia Wong and NYTimes.com)
For the topping:
1 medium red bell pepper, cored
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium cucumber, seeded
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chile sauce (more or less to taste)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 large slices ginger, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, minced
11 ounces dried Asian noodles, like udon
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2. Meanwhile, make the topping: Slice bell pepper, carrot and cucumber into 1/4-inch wide, 3-inch-long slices. Place each vegetable in its own small bowl and set aside.
3. Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, mix tahini and soy sauce thoroughly. Add sugar, vinegar, chile sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and scallion, and mix thoroughly.
4. Add noodles to boiling water and cook according to package directions or until al dente. Do not overcook. Drain noodles and divide among four bowls. Serve, with each person adding his or her own sauce and topping.
If I didn’t use the Shirataki noodles, I would go with fresh, or dried and rehydrated, rice noodles rather than Udon because of the gluten (which I am trying to minimize in my diet.) But I am pretty sure that also Soba noodles or even spaghettini would be good in this.