Market-Fresh Noodle Stir-Fry
Vary a couple of ingredients to this basic stir-fry recipe for a new dish each time. The possibilities are endless! One of our favorite secret ingredients—chili garlic paste—adds a burst of flavor to this and so many other recipes. Available in your grocer’s Asian foods aisle, this ingredient packs a punch. Serves 6.
- 8 ounces of 3/8 inch rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 4 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, thin sliced diagonally
- 1 cup English cucumbers, cut length-wise, seeded, thinly sliced
- ½ pound (4 cups) napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced in thin matchsticks
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ cup cilantro
- Double portions for vegetarian
- Optional lean protein: 2 ounces per serving of cooked shrimp, seared scallops, thinly sliced beef, chicken, tofu or pork
- Rehydrate rice noodles in warm water until soft, about 15 to 30 minutes. Drain well just before cooking.
- Combine sauce ingredients and prepare vegetables, keeping in separate piles.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil, and heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan. Add garlic and onion; stir-fry.
- Add vegetables with the longest cooking first, e.g. carrots, cucumber, cabbage, bell peppers, and bean sprouts. Stir occasionally only to keep vegetables from burning, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan when 90% cooked.
- In same pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add rice noodles and press them down into the pan for about 30 seconds or until slightly crispy and translucent. Turn noodles over for another 30 seconds. Add the sauce mixture to the pan and toss. Return vegetables to pan and mix lightly. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
THE SEASONED COOK Unlike its waxy-skinned American cousin, the English cucumber needs no peeling, making us grateful for the time-saving step. When serving this recipe as a warm noodle salad, after rehydrating them, cook in boiling water just until soft (about 2 minutes—don’t overcook!) Drain well and place noodles in serving bowl, adding stir-fry vegetables on top, then sauce.