This Tuesday Night Vego Challenge recipe uses egg noodles, which are exactly the same as pasta. I’m a relatively recent convert to home-made pasta and noodles. For years I used to think home-made pasta 1. required a pasta machine, and 2. was just a carrier for the sauce anyway. In fact I was wrong on both counts. I still don’t use a pasta machine, though I possibly would if I were cooking for a larger number of people. For a couple of serves, hand rolling pasta is fast, easy, and minimises the clean up. And I’ve discovered that fresh pasta and noodles are so good they are the stars of the recipe. But the clincher for me is that when I make my own pasta and noodles, I can use my own, real eggs with all their vitamins, minerals, omega 3, protein, and happy lives.
Makes two big serves.
There are three parts to this: the noodles, the spice mix, and the vegetables. Like many Asian dishes if comes together really fast at the end, so you need to have all three parts prepared before you start cooking.
Start with the noodles.
1. The Egg Noodle Dough:
In a food processor, blend for just a minute till it comes together into a dough:
- ½ cup plain flour. I use the same high gluten baker’s flour that I use for my sourdough. Once you get the knack of it, you can start adding wholemeal flour or buckwheat flour if you like.
- an egg,
- a spoonful of oil. You can buy roasted sesame oil in little bottles, so strong flavoured that you only use a few drops. Or you can buy mild sesame oil in larger bottles. It’s still relatively expensive, but it has a nutty flavour that works really well in Asian recipes. Peanut oil is cheaper and also works well. Or macadamia oil.
- a good pinch of salt.
Flour the benchtop and knead in enough flour to make a dough ball. Let it rest for a few minutes, covered with a wet bowl or cup, while you make the spice mix, then roll it out and cut into noodles.
You will find that if you flour the benchtop and keep flipping it, you can roll the dough out very fine without it sticking. The finer the better. If you have time and you want to go all gourmet, at this stage, fold it into a little block, then roll it out again. You get a denser, more al dente noodle. But I usually skip this step. One roll out is plenty.
Flour the top then fold the dough in half lengthways, flour again then fold lengthways again, and once more. You will have a log of dough 8 layers thick. Using a sharp knife, cut into noodles. You will find that if you have floured between the layers well enough, the noodles will separate nicely.
Put a pot of water on to boil and let the noodles dry a little while you chop vegetables.
The Spice Paste:
Use a mortar and pestle, or the spice grinder on a food processor, to grind to a paste:
- Big thumb sized knob of fresh ginger and/or galangal
- Thumb sized knob of fresh turmeric (or ½ – 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- white part of a lemon grass stem
- 1 kaffir lime leaf
You need about 4 cups full of julienned vegetables. I used green beans, red onion, carrots, tromboncino, yellow squash, baby capsicum, and leaf amaranth. But you could substitute whatever vegies are in season at your place. I’ve made this with snow peas, silver beet, carrots, and broccoli in late winter.
Cooking and Assembling:
Put a wok or a large fry pan over a high flame and get it quite hot. Add a dash of oil (sesame, macadamia or peanut for preference), then the spice mix. Stir for just a minute, then add all the vegetables at once.
Cook over a high heat, stirring, for a few minutes, then add
- a cup of water
- 2 dessertspoons of soy sauce
- 2 dessertspoons of brown sugar
Continue cooking over a high heat until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Meanwhile: The pot of water for the noodles should be boiling by now. Add the noodles and cook for just a few minutes until they rise to the top. Be careful not to overcook them – fresh noodles take 2 minutes or less.
Drain the noodles. As soon as the vegetables are crisp-tender, turn the heat off. Add the noodles, along with a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped herbs – coriander, lime basil, Thai basil, and Vietnamese mint all work well. Toss through and serve.