Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ginger Scallion Noodles (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Though I'm a Southern girl, I'm still Asian as well. So, I don't always crave things like country-fried steak or cornbread when I'm wanting comfort food. Sometimes I just want a big steaming bowl of Japanese sticky rice, sometimes topped with furikake or served with a few slices of takuan. Most often, though, I'll crave noodles. Thick, chewy udon noodles, cool & refreshing zaru-soba, or pan-fried yakisoba, sometimes with little cut up hot dogs in it. 

Now, though, I crave ginger-scallion noodles. They're a bit spicy and FULL of flavor, and, best of all, REALLY easy to make.

This dish is a quick and easy way to give in to my occasional noodle cravings. Usually I use Chinese chukamen noodles, but you can also use a brick or two of instant ramen (yes, the 10/$1 kind). Just toss out the seasoning packet, since the seasoning you'll be making is FAR better (and much less salty)!

This recipe is completely vegetarian, and easily made vegan - I've made notes where applicable in the ingredient list. Full of bold, exotic flavors, this dish comes together in a few minutes, with minimal amount of work, and is definitely satisfying. However, these aren't meant to be a dead ringer for David Chang's immensely popular Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles, but they're still incredibly tasty!

Feel free to top the noodles with some cooked meat (leftover chicken, steak or pork roast works great) or tofu for a more substantial meal. Perfect with a little side dish of quick kimchi

Ginger Scallion Noodles
adapted from Inquiring Chef

2 Tbsp oil
1 large bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp honey (substitute agave nectar for vegan)
2 tsp fish sauce (substitute black vinegar for vegan)
2 tsp soy sauce (substitute tamari for vegan)
1 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
10oz noodles, cooked & drained**

**For vegan, don't use egg noodles (obviously).

Heat the oil in a small wok over medium-high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. 

Add the scallions, cilantro, ginger, garlic and shallot - the oil WILL pop and splatter (so be careful!). Swirl the ingredients in the oil and stir quickly, until the scallions turn bright green, then immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. 

Add the sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes. Taste, then season with salt as desired. Let stand for 15 minutes. 

Toss the mixture with the cooked and drained noodles, then serve immediately.