Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easy Asian Noodles

I love Asian noodle dishes, but I've never had good success at replicating authentic Asian-style noodles (which I LOVE!!!). The kind that you can buy packaged up in the grocery store really don't taste anything like the real thing... plus, they are pretty expensive!

I started using packages of ramen noodles in my stir-fry in my early college days as a cheap Asian noodle substitute. I would just boil the noodles without the seasonings, drain, and throw them into the stir fry to be seasoned by whatever sauce I had in the wok. The only problem is that, in my opinion, you can always taste that distinctive "ramen noodle flavor" in your finished dish. I've seen some recipes that use regular spaghetti noodles, which is also fine, but gives your food that Italian semolina flavor.

A few weeks ago, I was making string bean chicken (seriously, one of our new favorites!!!) and didn't have any rice to serve it with, so I pulled out a package of ramen noodles instead. Struck by a bit of inspiration, after I had drained the ramen noodles I put them back into their pot and added in a generous shake of soy sauce. I let them marinate about five minutes, until I was done with the string bean chicken, and then I threw them in the wok and coated them with the string bean teriyaki sauce.

It was amazing! They still don't taste like authentic Chinese noodles, but they also don't taste like ramen. (I would say they're about on the level of what you would get at a Panda Express-type place.) This is definitely the cheapest, yummiest noodle solution I have come up with to date. Now whenever I make a stir-fry with noodles, I let them marinate for about five minutes in soy sauce before adding them into the wok and coating them with my stir fry sauce. It makes a delicious stir-fry, WITHOUT feeling like you're just eating jazzed-up ramen! (Even though, you know, you are.)


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