Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Drunkman Noodles

Happy September! It feels amazing to have graduated with a degree in Food Science & Nutrition, leaving me to be able to give advice on nutrition, develop products or even open my own business. It's a crossroads, I get to choose. Can you imagine the anxiety?

It has been a wonderful summer having been home with all that warmth and love surrounding family. I'm now back in Stockholm with my husband and the first day of September has greeted us with clouds and rain, reminding us of what's to come in the autumn, but no matter, I won't let the weather get to us!

Tomorrow I am going to the Fastfood & Cafe expo in Gothenburg and in the evening I will be giving a presentation on Legumes & Sustainability at Ekocentrum. It will be in Swedish so wish me luck!

This damp weather has made me long for summer at home, so I will be making Drunkman Noodles. I first ate the dish at Spice in New York and just loved it. It utilizes thick rice noodles, which makes for a hearty bite, along with tomatoes to give a sweetness and tang. It's a blend of Chinese and Thai flavors, which is delightful because you get the sweet, sour, salty and spicy, but it's also saucy, which is something I always look for in a noodle dish.

This dish becomes lighter when I add shaved strips of vegetables like daikon, celeriac, zucchini and carrots, therefore reducing the amount of noodles by half. This way you don't miss the noodles but end up eating a lot more vegetables, which is always good. OR better yet, use mung bean sheets!  My brother introduced me to them this summer and they've now become my favorite noodle. When cooked, they roll into scrolls and add extra iron, which is excellent! My tastebuds are now naturally departing from the simple carbohydrate to these smarter alternatives: legume noodles and pastas and just more vegetables sliced in the same shape as the pasta or noodle I'm eating!

I used the vegetables from my mom's organic garden, but feel free to use what you have on hand. The absolute must is the Thai basil. It has the most perfumey fragrance, spicy and sharp and a little sweet too like regular basil. This recipe requires over two cups for a reason, and lucky for me, my mom had so many Thai basil plants growing in her garden!

Tamarind is also an important ingredient here. You could use lime as it would add sourness, but then you would miss that depth and body that tamarind provides.

I hope you like this recipe and I wish you a very happy autumn!

Drunkman Noodles
Serves 4

2 tbs / msk rice bran cooking oil (or an oil good for high heat)
250 grams Mung bean sheets or broad rice noodles
4 scallions, sliced (utilizing both white and green parts)
100 grams dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbs / msk garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup / 1 dl green peas
1 medium carrot, sliced lengthways
1/2 diakon radish, sliced lengthways
1 organic egg, lightly beaten (optional)
500 grams extra firm tofu, prepared via this method
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthways
1-2 cups of Thai basil leaves
Salt to taste

1/3 cup / 1 dl tamarind sauce
2 tbs / msk sambal olek
1/4 cup / 1/2 dl organic soy sauce
2 tbs / msk molasses

Mung bean sprouts (optional)
Roasted peanuts, chopped

1. Rinse the shiitake mushrooms and then boil in 1 1/2 cups water until softened. Slice thinly. Save the water for later. Prepare all your vegetables and the tofu. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a separate vessel.
2. In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil and saute the scallions, garlic, carrots, radish, mushrooms until tender. Then add the tomato and mung bean sheets, the sauce ingredients and the reserved 1 1/2 cups of shiitake water. After the noodles become tender (add extra water if needed, to help the noodles become tender), add the green peas, half of the basil, an egg if you're using it and cook until the egg is cooked. Check for seasoning and add the prepared tofu. Add salt if needed, or extra sweetness, sourness or chili. End with more basil leaves. Garnish with sprouted mung beans, chopped roasted peanuts and lime.

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