Monday, May 24, 2010

Wok Fried Wheat Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms, Spinach and Egg and Szechuan String Beans



I woke up this morning thinking about Meatless Monday.  As you may have noticed, we consume a lot of meat in our house.  It seems the moment we decide to deprive ourselves of something, it's easy to become obsessed with it.  Why am I going meatless on Monday?  It's not for dietary purposes, or health reasons, though it seems it should be.  It is more for lessening our dependency on meat and improving the health of our planet.  True, it is not much to give up.. meat, one day a week.  Baby steps.  What can I say, I love meat.  So, I am going to forget about the fact I am trying to commit to meatless Monday and not say anything to Chris and see if he notices there is no meat in tonight's meal.  
For the Wok Fried Noodles
12 oz Dried Noodles, I used Inaka Udon which was what I had in my cupboard
1 1/2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups spinach
1 cup bean sprouts
3-4 scallions, sliced diagonally
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp minced ginger
2-3 eggs, beaten
Make a sauce containing:
1/2 cup chicken stock (I used Lee Kum Kee Bouillon with water)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
a few twists of freshly ground black pepper
Boil the noodles for 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Then drizzle a little vegetable oil and toss to combine.  I cooked the noodles ahead of time and this method keeps the noodles from sticking together.  
In a separate pan, cook your eggs like scrambled eggs.  Set aside.
Heat your wok over high heat and add in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Fry the garlic, ginger and scallions until fragrant.  Add in the mushrooms and spinach and fry for another minute.  Then add in the sauce and bring to a boil.  Toss in the noodles, eggs and bean sprouts and fry for a few more minutes, tossing only a couple of times to incorporate everything.


This Szechuan Green Beans recipe is slightly different from my previous post. I left out the dried shrimp and added another Tbsp of preserved vegetable, increased the garlic and added red pepper flakes.

1 lb green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp minced preserved vegetable (available at Asian markets)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 cup water
2 green onions, chopped
Blanche the green beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes depending on thickness of your beans.  You don't want them too soft.  Strain and run under cold water.  Combine the soy, sugar, vinegar, corn starch, water and sesame oil to make a sauce.  Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in your wok, and fry the preserved veg, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant.  Add in the beans and the sauce and fry until well combined.  Serve with green onions sprinkled on top.

I have to say, we did not miss the meat at all.  Substituted by bold flavors and a fair amount of starch, we were all fully satisfied.  I said to Chris, well, we have enough noodles for lunches tomorrow for the kids.  He responded... you shouldn't say that yet.  And he was right.  All was devoured.  And did he notice no meat... well, the gig was up before dinner was had.  Will he be dreaming about pork tonight?  Perhaps, but when is he not?  

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