Boy, it’s so miserable out here today! It’s dark and rainy and feels like summer is now truly over…I’m gutted especially that I have a few more summer recipes up my sleeve and they are getting less and less relevant by the day…Oh well, at least they will come in handy for next year when I plan to renovate my kitchen (yay and eeeek!!).
The bathroom reno is about a week from being finished. We are going to get the wall paint and grout in a moment and plan to put two coats on the walls, today and tomorrow. We’ve done the ceiling and it made a big difference already so we are pumped. We are also pumped to finally see our customised vanity unit sitting proudly where it belongs…only a few more sleeps…
I was planning on making a big layer cake for today but realised that I am taking too much on and decided to share a quick and simple noodle recipe with you instead. This recipe is inspired by Chinese spring onion noodles. Similarly to many Italian pasta dishes that rely on garlic (or garlic and chilli) infused olive oil for flavour, this dish gets the bulk of its flavour from spring onion / scallion infused oil. The method is essentially the same. You fry spring onions in a gently heated up oil for as long as you can before they start to colour. Like with the Italian garlic oil, the key is using low heat as you don’t want the spring onions to turn brown (that will make the oil taste acrid), you simply want them to soften and impart their delicious savoury oniony-ness to the oil, in which you can then bathe your noodles.
If I’m in a rush, I like to use pre-cooked ramen noodles (Duncan prefers udon so I try to alternate although I tell him that he is a philistine as udon does not belong in a dish like this 😉 ), which I tease apart gently in a wok filled in with a little water. Once the noodle strands break free, I coat them in savoury spring onion oil so that they stay nice and separate, followed by a simple soy-based sauce. I cook all my vegetables in a bamboo steamer and add them in at the end in order to minimise the amount of oil used in the dish and because it’s such a hands off method. If we are feeling particularly hungry (which is often), I whack my favourite shop-bought tofu into the oven while I get on with the rest to bulk up the stir-fry at the end. We eat this at least once a week – apart from the flavour, we really like the simplicity and ease with which this dish comes together and I hope you will too.
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp all purpose soy sauce, more to taste
- 10 ml / 2 tsp dark soy sauce (for colour)
- 5 ml / 1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
- 10 ml / 2 tsp maple syrup or sugar
- 10 ml / 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 200 g / 7 oz pre-marinated tofu (optional)
- 100 g / 3½ oz tenderstem broccoli
- 1 bok choi
- 1 carrot
- 4 small spring onions / scallions
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp stir-fry oil (I use rice bran)
- 400 g / 14 oz pre-cooked noodles* (I used ramen)
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.
- Prepare tofu (if using) like you normally would. I use pre-marinated shop-bought tofu, which I bake in a hot oven or flash fry in a hot skillet.
- Cut thicker broccoli stems into half lengthwise and then into even, bite-size pieces. Cut bok choi leaves off and chop the white part into small pieces and julienne the carrot.
- Put a large pot of water onto boil and grab a steaming basket. Once the water is boiling, place broccoli in the steaming basket. Steam for 4 minutes, next add in the white part of the bok choi and steam for a further 2 minutes, finally add in bok choi leaves and julienned carrot and steam for 1 minute.
- Cut the dark green part off the spring onions and save them for garnish. Halve the rest lengthwise and then chop into 2.5 cm / 1″ pieces.
- Heat up a wok or a deep frying pan. Add oil and warm it up gently. Once warm, add chopped spring onions. Allow them to cook gently in the shimmering oil for about 7 minutes. Make sure the heat is low so that the spring onions cook without turning golden.
- Using a flexible spatula, transfer spring onion oil into a small bowl. Return the work to the heat and add approximately 60 ml / ¼ cup of water to the wok. Place noodle nets in the wok. Allow them to sit in warm water for about 60 seconds, then flip to the other side and leave for another 60 seconds. Next, using a wooden spatula gently tease the noodles apart, they should start unravelling. Toss them in the wok a few times until the noodle strands separate.
- Pour spring onion oil back into the wok and toss the noodles in it. Next, mix in the sauce, steamed vegetables and tofu (if using). Stir-fry for 30 seconds, just to warm up.
- Divide between two bowls, garnish with sliced spring onion tops.