Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oodles of (Shiratake) Noodles

I am obsessed with Shiritake noodles these days. Not only are they convenient (no cooking required!), but unlike rice noodles, they do not get gummy or sticky, and unlike most other types of noodles they are CALORIE AND CARB FREE. They are also made from all natural yam starch and are gluten-free. I guess that's why they are often referred to as "Miracle Noodles".

The ones I like best are the ones that DO NOT contain soy. The ones that do are okay, but not my favorite. Also keep in mind that the soy noodles do contain a modest amount of calories (I think about 50 calories a bag).

They are generally best with Asian recipes, but if you are going to try them with Italian pasta style recipes, the soy ones are better suited. Just keep in mind that they do not absorb liquid like starchy noodles, so they are great for soup, but this also means that you have to either start with a thick sauce or add a thickener to your sauce, if you don't want your dish to end up soupy.

Adam likes them too so I've come up with a number of recipes lately for lunches or dinners.

Malaysian Shiritake Noodles

1 tsp peanut or canola oil
1 knob fresh ginger, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls Malaysian curry powder (or regular curry powder + 2 tsp chili powder)
1/4 cup coconut milk powder
2 tbls fish sauce
1 lb cleaned, deveined shrimp
1/2 large cabbage, chopped
1 can tomato paste
2 bunches green onions, sliced
2-1 lb bags Shiritake noodles, drained, rinsed, snipped with scissors (they come in looooooooong strands), and 'dried'*

Pour oil into large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic, spices, coconut milk powder and fish sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook just a few minutes until it begins to cook. Add cabbage and continue cooking until it is softened. Turn heat down and mix in tomato paste and green onions. Mix in noodles and serve.

Makes 2-3 servings

Yum-mous Hummous Noodles

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tbls tahini
2 tsp olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

1 bunch broccoli, cut into pieces
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

2-1 lb bags Shiritake noodles, drained, rinsed, snipped with scissors and dried*

Combine broccoli and tomatoes with garlic, oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven at 350F for about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for hummous in food processor and process until smooth.

When vegetables are done, remove from oven. Place noodles into hot skillet along with veggies and sauce, toss and heat through.

Serves 2-3

Shiritake Brunch Noodles
This is a favorite of mine to make after I get back from the gym on Sundays.

2 eggs, beaten

1 lb bag Shiritake noodles, drained, rinsed, snipped with scissors and dried*
1 knob fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls fremented black bean paste or chili bean sauce
1 bunch broccoli, chopped and lightly steamed
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Hot crushed chili flakes, to taste

Add all ingredients into hot skillet or wok and cook until hot and fragrant. Add eggs and stir until fully cooked. Remove from heat and serve. Serves one hungry person.

*Drying shirataki noodles involves throwing them into a dry frying pan or skillet until excess moisture/liquid is removed.  You can omit this step if using in a soup.

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