This meal is a workhorse. It accommodates different variations with ease and most, if not all of the ingredients, can be found in my pantry…and soon yours. It is also equally good hot or cold, which in these early spring days, makes it easily adaptable for whatever direction the weather decides to go.
Asian Noodles with Carrots, Cabbage and Greens is a simple name for a simple dish that makes the decision to cook a home meal much easier than calling for take-out…and healthier, too.
While we wait patiently for the first signs of Spring at the market, we can still find new ways to prepare our reliable market standbys, like cabbage, onions, garlic, carrots and this week, a handful of greens in the form of pea shoots. I make Asian Noodles with Carrots, Cabbage and Greens often and have been doing so for years. I’m not Asian so I cannot verify the authenticity of this dish but I can usually make it any day of the week with the Asian ingredients I always have in the pantry.
Having a well-stocked pantry with different flavors and ingredients paired with some go-to meals that you can throw together without notice, can make the difference between calling for takeout and making a meal at home.
To make this easier for you, too, I’m introducing a new section of my blog, the “Seasonal Pantry.” Click on “Seasonal Pantry” located above on the navigation bar to access lists of items to stock in your pantry. Now you can make a meal without rushing out to the store. I am in the process of compiling a pantry list for each season but in the meantime, I thought my list of Asian pantry items might be of help as they are ingredients that make sense throughout the year and particularly with vegetables.
I love to explore an Asian supermarket, always have. While living in New York City, I would spend an entire day in Chinatown exploring the supermarkets if only to ogle and examine the exotic labels and ingredients. Nothing I offer on my pantry list is terribly exotic and likely available in the International section of most supermarkets. There might be some items that are unfamiliar now but I hope will become go-to favorites.
My Asian Pantry will soon include some ingredients from Indian cuisine, which also make an easy meal close at hand.
Keep ingredients within easy reach and a good meal can’t be far behind. See you at the market!
Visit the Great Falls Farmers Market this Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Walker Road in Great Falls, Va., to pick up your Veggie Pack with all the vegetables needed to make this recipe, including a sample of Spiced’s Vegetable Bouillon Seasoning made from ground mushrooms for great taste and a powerful immunity boost.
- 4-5 carrots, peeled
- 1 small head of cabbage
- 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or other favorite cooking oil...but I recommend you get coconut oil!)
- 2 teaspoons Spiced's Vegetable Bouillon Seasoning (or one cup vegetable or chicken broth)
- 1 cup boiling water (if using Spiced Vegetable Bouillon Seasoning)
- 1 package rice vermicelli noodles
- ½ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 6-7 Tablespoons roasted sesame oil, divided
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 4 Tablespoons sesame seeds. Optional
- Handful of greens (pea shoots, baby spinach or baby swiss chard)
- Shred carrots in a food processor using the shredding blade, or by hand with a box grater
- Remove outer layers of cabbage and cut off the end piece, cut remaining cabbage into quarters. Place each quarter on a cutting board and using a knife, cut around and remove the remaining core. (it will be a small triangle of solid cabbage to remove.) Starting at the pointy end of the cabbage, cut thin slices on a slight diagonal. Using your hand, separate the pieces and it will fall apart in shreds. (You can use a food processor but I don't recommend. The pieces become too small, the cabbage shrinks under heat and will almost dissolve. You want some texture.)
- Heat a kettle of water to boil.
- While water heats, place noodles in a large stock pot or heat-proof bowl. There needs to be enough space to accommodate at least 2 inches above the height of the noodles.
- Pour boiling water over the noodles and toss with a pair of tongs. Let noodles soak in the boiling water until they completely separate and just begin to soften. Keep a close eye. They will get mushy if they stay too long. Depending on the noodle, it takes about 3-5 minutes to detangle.
- Drain, rinse with cold water, and place back into pot, drizzle with 2-3 Tablespoons sesame oil and toss to combine. Set aside.
- Combine the bouillon and boiling water to make your broth. Add soy sauce, 3 Tablespoons sesame oil and honey, whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a very large fry pan, melt the coconut oil or heat your oil until hot, add the onions and a pinch of salt.
- Over medium heat, cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage and stir to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat and stir occasionally until cabbage starts to wilt. If your fry pan has a lid, you may want to cover but check frequently to speed cooking time.
- Add carrots, stir to combine for just 2-3 minutes until they just begin to soften.
- Sprinkle garlic over the top and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 more minute.
- Pour cooked noodles over the top of the vegetables and pour over sauce. Let sit over medium heat for about 3 minutes until cabbage is softened.
- Then, using tongs, toss so vegetables and noodles combine. (This takes a bit of heft at first but then becomes easier.) Taste and adjust seasonings adding more soy sauce, if needed.
- Toss with greens in pan until they wilt.
- To serve, place a pile of noodles in a bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.