Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sesame Noodles and Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Another foray into Asian cuisine, rife with crunchy vegetables and spicy sauces and ginger. Get behind me, sinuses.

I don't often go to Whole Foods for recipes, because it's so easy to rack up expenses, but I didn't need much for the recipe and wanted to take advantage of the wider offerings. Plus, the lady in front of me appeared to be feeding a village with fig bars and spent close to a thousand dollars! Good grief. I stood bolstered.

Anyway, I installed my mise en place (French term referring to the prepping of all ingredients before you start cooking. A definite necessity when you're julienning, peeling, and mincing a myriad of vegetables.)

For the spring roll mixture, I included julienne carrots, thin strips of cabbage (I suppose you might call her "Julienne"), julienne sweet red peppers, julienne scallions, and minced cilantro. I tossed all these in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I poured boiling water into a bowl of vermicelli and let it soak for 6 - 8 minutes while the noodles softened.

Andy took over at this point. Once the vermicelli was soft, he snipped it into two inch pieces. He then took another bowl of warm water and soaked each rice paper round for ten seconds before draining it on paper towels. To compose the rolls, he topped the rounds about an inch from the bottom with the vegetable mixture. a tablespoon of noodles, and finally a few slivers of fresh mint leaves.

For rolling, Andy first lifted the bottom of the round over the filling, then he tucked in the sides and rolled it all up tightly.

We made three rolls apiece for just the two of us.

After all the rolls were...rolled, he put them in the fridge for ten minutes to set.

I made a dipping sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, a Thai peanut sauce, chile paste, and rice vinegar. Exact amounts may vary, as I just added bit by bit until the flavor was perfect, but I'll put an estimate in the ingredients list!

The sesame noodles were a cinch. I simply boiled the noodles al dente, then tossed them in three tablespoons of sesame oil, julienne carrots, and julienne cucumber.

The sauce here was similar to the dipping sauce for the spring rolls. This time I used soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, ginger, tahini, rice vinegar, sriracha, peanut sauce, and chile paste.

And here we have a nice vegetarian weeknight dinner! Hope you enjoy :)

Sesame Noodles and Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Serves 2 - 3.

Sesame Noodles
1 16-oz package egg noodles
1 small cucumber, peeled and julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
3 tablespoons sesame oil

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce,
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chile paste
1 tablespoon Thai peanut sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha

Vegetarian spring rolls
6 rice paper rounds, each softened in warm water for 10 seconds (right before use)
2 carrots, julienned
1/3 cup Napa cabbage, sliced into thin strips
2 scallions, julienned
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
3 oz vermicelli, soaked in boiling water, then snipped into 2-inch strips
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, slivered

Dipping sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon peanut sauce
1 teaspoon chile paste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar