I made the trek to an Asian Market in South Nashville this week. The smell of fish when I walk in always overcomes me, and it’s usually the reason I keep away for as long as I do. But International Markets are a treasure trove of strange ingredients. It’s the only place I can find a hundred different kinds of soy sauce that I never knew existed. Places like that remind me how much I love cooking. It takes me out of my comfort zone and into a creative space where I can certainly find a thousand ways to use tamarind concentrate. Which, who knew, is a fruit paste and also the secret ingredient to real Pad Thai.
But when I develop recipes, I want to make recipes for real people who don’t go to Asian markets, though I encourage you to try it. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor if you go to the grocery and pick up what you can, but I encourage you to throw in something you think would taste great. Maybe it’s an egg or tamarind paste, or crushed peanuts. Maybe it’s bean sprouts. And hopefully it’s not a napa cabbage, which turned out kind of soggy and gross.
This is what I call an Asian noodle situation. It’s not specific to any one place, but it just tastes great and really fresh. Here’s how you make it.
Start by soaking your rice noodles in boiling water. Give them a toss with a pasta spoon every once in awhile so they don’t stick together. This takes about 20-25 minutes depending on your noodles. Chop all your veggies while you wait. You’ll need a red bell pepper, ginger, cilantro, green onion and broccoli. Drain your noodles when they are almost done but al dente. Whisk together your sauce–soy sauce, garlic, sriracha, and brown sugar.
Add sesame oil to a very hot pan. Add the ginger, cilantro and bell pepper. cook for just a minute. Add the broccoli and saute just until broccoli is bright green, another minute or two. Add the noodles and sauce and saute for one minute, pushing around until the noodles are coated in sauce.
Remove from heat and add the lime juice and green onion. Serve immediately.
- 8 oz flat rice noodles
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbsp sriracha or chili garlic paste
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 thumb sized ginger root peeled and minced
- a small handful of cilantro leaves and stems, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 green onions, sliced thinly
- 1 crown of broccoli, cut into florets
- handful of bean sprouts, optional
- juice of half a lime
- In a wide bowl, add the rice noodles and cover with boiling water for 25 minutes or until tender. Make sure you use a pasta spoon to break up any clumps every five minutes.
- In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, garlic clove, sriracha, and brown sugar. Whisk together and set aside.
- Once the noodles are done, but al dente, heat a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil and add the ginger, cilantro and pepper. Saute for 1 minute and then add the broccoli. Saute until the broccoli is bright green, but not soggy.
- Add the noodles, optional bean sprouts, and then pour in the sauce mixture. Stir fry for one minute, pushing everything around so the noodles are coated, making sure you don't overcook or make the noodles soggy. Remove from heat and add the green onions and juice of half a lime. Toss again and serve immediately.