April 05, 2013

Korean noodles and ...


We very recently spent a week in Thailand, and Thursday night was literally the first night I slept more than two or three hours for two weeks. I slept nine hours straight, which was amazing, but probably not enough to counteract the effects of the last 14 days. We had a great trip, and I'll be posting excerpts over the next couple of weeks, but first I'll have to deal with all the photos. We had lots of experiences and ate tons of food I want to share.

One day we visited a Chinese Buddhist temple with our Thai entourage. The temple was a charitable foundation that, supported by sales of various products and donations, provides plant-based food for the hungry. The woman who manages the temple cooked us an an inpromptu and unexpected light supper of rice noodles, tofu and veggies. A couple of nights ago I was thinking about that dish, and was inspired to prepare a similar meal using a package of dried Korean noodles I found in the pantry. The noodles, which were an odd greyish color before I soaked them in hot water, were made from sweet potatoes, and reminded me of kelp noodles or shiritaki noodles, which I don't like so much. I made a humongous amount, and have been eating them for the last two days, with extra veggies added. They actually taste much better two days old. The sauce was a mix of tamarind paste, sambal olek, 1/4 teaspoon of hot chili bean curd (stinky tofu), a spray of Bragg's, a dash of garlic, a little toasted sesame oil, and soaking water from the mushrooms. The veggies were Chinese cabbage, dried (soaked) shiitake mushrooms, and carrots. And there was tofu. It tasted great, though I'm still not 100% sold on the texture of the noodles.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

In other kitchen news ...



I don't suppose anyone wants the recipe for this? I may not be having sandwiches any time soon, but it actually tastes pretty good, so I'm thinking about other uses for it, if I don't eat it all first — maybe bread pudding or lentil loaf or burgers. Gotta keep a good attitude, right?

18 comments:

  1. How exciting that you were just in Thailand! No wonder you had jet lag! I'm REALLY looking forward to your posts about the trip. Is that your first time there?

    The dish you recreated sounds delightful. I can just imagine the wonderful food you ate there!

    The failed bread still looks edible, especially as bread pudding. As long as it tastes good, right? :)

    I hope you're all caught up on your sleep now and feeling great!

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    Replies
    1. First trip to Thailand! I'm wading through the photos now and trying to be selective so I don't bore people to death. :)

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  2. Andrea, you did good! Look at how my local Korean restaurant makes those noodles (almost exactly like your dish!) I just posted this on Thursday:
    http://veganfazool.blogspot.com/2013/04/vegan-dining-in-philly-burbs-jersey.html

    AND, have you had Korean Fresh Noodles? They are great (wheat and/or soy based ones are available at my Asian Market). Here they are cooked in a dish:
    http://veganfazool.blogspot.com/2013/02/sweet-chili-tofu-korean-fresh-noodles.html

    And here's a picture of the package of noodles (mid-post):
    http://veganfazool.blogspot.com/2013/02/pantry-stock-up-and-testing-for-joni.html

    Have a great weekend!
    Dawn
    Vegan Fazool Blog :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dawn. I'm definitely going to check out all the links. Too bad I made my noodles on Wednesday — if I'd waited one more day I might have seen your post first! I've never seen Korean fresh noodles, but that could be because I haven't looked for them. I found the dry ones in an Asian market in Seattle and they are called "Korean style starch noodle (vermicelli coreen)." The company website is: http://bit.ly/ZnWOkM and the noodle package is halfway down the page #03282. I don't know that I'll be buying them again because I think I prefer rice noodles or mung threads.

      Delete
  3. I'd been wondering what had become of you, but "spending two weeks in Thailand" was no where on my list of guesses! Can't believe you made a trip like that without so much as a whisper of a hint of it on your blog! I couldn't have done it, you'd have been hearing about it the second I knew I'd be going. :-)

    I'm wondering the same thing Molly is - was this your first time there? My paternal grandparents, who lived in Saigon in the 1950s, LOVED Thailand and had lots of souvenirs from there throughout their old Maine farmhouse (an interesting juxtaposition of cultures if ever there was one). Can't wait to hear more about your trip and see more photos! That charity sounds very cool, a bit like Food for Life Global. And your Buddhist temple serendipitous dinner recreation looks really yummy! I love the look of those Korean noodles ~ like glass, only hopefully with a more food-friendly texture even if it's not your favorite! :-)

    As for your bread, I'm honestly not guilty of schadenfraude when I say it gladdens my heart to know that even amazing cooks like you have such mishaps because it makes me feel so much less wretched about my own! :-)

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    1. Actually it was only one week in Thailand but two weeks of jet lag. :)

      The Thai people seem to love nicknacks and souvenirs so I can imagine your grandparents had quite a collection. We brought back a few things, ourselves, but tried hard not to accumulate too much.

      If you think the "bread" looked less than perfect, you should have seen the oven! :D

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  4. Was that supposed to be a nut loaf? Interesting crash in the center. I'm sure it tasted good, though.

    As far as the noodles at home. I love how you use such unique and varied ingredients. Wonderful result, I am sure!

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    1. Actually, the bread was supposed to be a pie shell. I just never got around to filling it. :)

      I thought the noodles tasted great but they might not have been spicy enough for you!

      Delete
  5. Oh y gosh, you are so funny. That bread picture is just great. Sigh, not all moments in the kitchen are moments of glory. I know it all too well!

    I'm super excitd to read about your travels. That's a part of the world that I still haven't seen!

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    1. Truly, the bread looked much worse in person — the photo was kind. Some moments in the kitchen are probably meant to be humorous, humbling, and to keep us on our toes. The bread was all three!

      This was my first trip to East Asia, and I'll be sharing highlights if I ever get the photos edited!

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  6. I'm so chuffed you put up the failed bread! I have so many kitchen fails for recipes I was intending to put up but then don't when they implode in wrongness! Maybe we should have fail friday, where we all put up the duff recipes?!

    I think those noodles sound great - I'm not sold on shirataki type ones, but I love the see through quality of those.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don 't usually think to photograph the failures, but this one was so extreme I couldn't resist. :) Glad you enjoyed it.

      There's something about the texture of shirataki that I can't quite enjoy, though not because I haven't tried. The Korean noodles got more appealing as they softened in the fridge and with repeated warmings. Maybe I just need to cook them longer up front.

      Delete
  7. I have to say that between you and your husband always coming up with magical meals from what you happen to have in the pantry, it was refreshing to see a site familiar from my own kitchen: sunken loaf!

    I cannot wait to hear all about what I'm sure was an amazing travel experience. Welcome home.

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    1. My husband would be pleased to hear you think most of hie cooking is magical. I'd better not say anything more about that.

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  8. Beautiful glass noodles. I look forward to some great photos and food stories!
    What was the loaf originally supposed to be? I've made many a mistake into delicious bread pudding; that's got my vote.

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    1. Thanks! I'm dragging my feet on the photos — too many!

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  9. Can't wait to read more about your trip to Thailand! Sounds like you had a fun trip, jet lag is the price you pay for globetrotting. :-) Bummer you didn't like the Korean noodles, I haven't ever tried or heard of it before. I've had my share of failed attempts in the kitchen, at least yours tasted good.

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    1. I didn't dislike the noodles enough to not eat them, I'm just not fond of the texture. My favorite is rice noodles. If I find myself with another package of Korean noodles, I'll try cooking them longer so they are a little more tender — not authentic perhaps, but more to my liking.

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