I can’t believe we’ve gotten through almost the entire first month of the year and I haven’t posted a noodle recipe yet. Well that travesty ends today! These Vegetarian Flat Noodles are an absolute winner of a dish. They are on the table so fast- I use fresh rice noodles that get stir fried, no boiling water required. The sauce is an umami bomb that is made from simple but oh so savory pantry ingredients, like hoisin and vegetarian oyster sauce. There’s tofu cutlets for protein, and flavor powerhouses like fermented black beans and garlic chives. We love a one pan masterpiece for dinner, so let’s get into it!
First I start by making the sauce. You can use vegetarian oyster sauce, or sub with stir fry sauce. And if you’re not vegetarian, you can go ahead and use regular oyster sauce. I like to use white pepper because it has an earthy funk I love, but plain black pepper will do if that’s what you have on hand. Soy sauce and a little sugar round it out.
After the sauce is done, I set it aside and start prepping the other ingredients, starting with the noodles. I use a fresh rice noodle for this, which can be found at most Asian grocers. They look like a solid white cake but are folded rice sheets that you must first cut. (If you only have dried rice noodles first you will need to soak them according to the package directions and then proceed with the recipe.) Fresh rice noodles are sticky when they are fresh but turn brittle once they are refrigerated. Once you are done cutting them into strips, you must then separate the strips and pull them apart. Be gentle as they can break easily.
Next I get all the veggies and tofu prepped. Remember, this is a stir fry dish and as such, everything needs to be ready before you begin cooking.
I like to use a tofu cutlet for this. These are ready to use firm tofu blocks that have been fried. I like the flavor and texture it gives the dish. It also has a lot less moisture than other kinds of tofu so it holds its shape nicely in Vegetarian Flat Noodles. And because it has a crust from being fried, it doesn’t adhere to the pan like regular tofu can. (It’s also awesome in Kiriboshi Daikon and Lemongrass Tofu Rice Salad.)
If you can’t find it or prefer to use regular tofu, you can use firm or extra firm tofu instead but use a gentle hand when stir frying it so the tofu stays intact.
Now that everything is prepped it’s time to get cooking. Make sure you have everything within easy reach as this part goes lightening fast. I used a large non-stick skillet which kept the moist ingredients from sticking to the pan. If you’re using a regular skillet, make sure it’s a well seasoned one and heat it for several minutes before starting.
Taste a noodle and make sure it’s hot, chewy, and delicious. Adjust seasoning if needed with a little salt and ground pepper. Give everything a final stir and then your Vegetarian Flat Noodles are ready to serve!
I hope you enjoy our first noodles of the year! Take a moment to comment and let us know what you think, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
If you are as much of a noodle fiend as I am, check out some of our most popular recipes:
- 1 Pack fresh rice noodles about 8 ounces
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 package tofu cutlet
- 1 ½ cup packed spinach (about 2 ounces)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ inch bundle garlic chives (I used the ones with flower buds)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon fermented black beans
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetarian Oyster or Stir Fry Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
Mix the sauce:
- Combine the vegetarian oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, ground white pepper, and water.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Cut the noodles into 1 inch strips. Peel the noodles apart and set aside.
- Trim ½ inch off of the base of the garlic chives. Cut into 2 inch pieces. You should have about ¾ cup. Set aside.
- Cut the tofu cutlet in half horizontally so you have 2 thin pieces. Then, from the shorter end, cut the tofu into thin strips. Set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil, the onions, and the tofu. Stir fry for 2 minutes, moving the contents of the pan around constantly.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and black beans and stir to combine.
- Next add the noodles and stir fry for 1 minute, moving them around the pan to start softening the noodles.
- Add the sauce and garlic chives and cook for 2 minutes, mixing to keep everything cooking evenly. The noodles should be soft and translucent. Cook for an additional minute if they are still a little stiff.
- Add the bean sprouts, spinach, and the sesame oil. Cook for a minute to wilt the spinach and beans sprouts. Taste and adjust seasonings with a little salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately.
*You can find fermented black beans in a well stocked Asian market. They are in the dry goods section. Once open, I put the package in a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer. They’re good for at least several months.
*Fresh rice noodles are available at Asian markets usually near baked goods or other ready to eat foods. Sometimes they will have them in the refrigerated section as well. If you prefer to use dried rice noodles, look for the widest ones, which look like fettuccine. Use about 4-5 ounces dried noodles for the recipe and soak the noodles in cool water for 20 minutes. Drain the noodles before starting.
Keywords: rice noodles, vegetarian, fermented black beans, tofu
Looking for delicious ways to incorporate more veggies into your meals? Make this Vegetarian Bibimbap! At its most basic, bibimbap means “mixed rice”. But there’s nothing basic about this beloved Korean dish of warm rice topped with seasonal vegetables, a tongue tingling gochujang sauce, and read more
I’m not one for making rigid New Year’s Resolutions. I’m gonna eat the carbs and drink the wine. But this *is* a good time to reflect on your health in general and your overall eating habits. One thing I am always interested in is finding more delicious ways to include a diverse range of plant based food into my diet. We’ve had some health issues in our family this year so it’s taken on a particular importance for me. That’s why I will be participating in Veganuary, the movement to encourage people to eat vegan all of January. 31 days of vegan meals is a great way to challenge yourself to try new foods and new techniques.
Which brings me to today’s Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon. You might not see this dish on many Japanese menus here; perhaps it’s not considered as sexy as sushi or gyoza or ramen. But this is just the kind of classic home cooking you would find in everywhere in Japan. Your grandmother makes it, it’s in bento boxes sold at train stations, and you’ll find it at many grab and go food spots.
Simple, nourishing, plant forward dishes that celebrate seasonal vegetables are the backbone of traditional Japanese cuisine. In this recipe, dried daikon radish and other veggies are simmered in a flavorful broth. These braised types of dishes are known as nimono and along with tsukemono (pickled veggies) are regular parts of a typical meal. Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is wonderful served hot, cold, or at room temperature so let’s get into it.
Daikon radish is a beloved vegetable and it’s particularly popular in the winter when other vegetables used to be scarce. Eaten raw, cooked, and pickled, it’s versatile and nutritious. BUT not gonna lie, it does smell pungent. And the dried form when it’s soaking is particularly pungent. But please do not let that put you off. The smell dissipates as it cooks. Plus there are so many foods that are delicious but smell. So let’s lean into smelly foods and embrace the funk.
Kiriboshi Daikon is dried strips of daikon radish. You can find it in bags in the dried good sections of well stocked Asian markets, or online. Just like other dried foods, say mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes, it needs to be reconstituted in hot water. Look for a pale color inside the packages. Kiriboshi daikon tends to darken over time and the flavor gets stronger. It’s still perfectly edible. For research purposes, (also known as forgetting what I have in the pantry), I have cooked several older packages and they were fine, but the overall look is not that appealing, like you added too much soy sauce to the pot.
The daikon will quadruple in volume. While it soaks I prep the other ingredients.
Vegan cooking is a great time to practice your knife skills:
Another ingredient that may be unfamiliar to you is the tofu cutlet. Tofu cutlets are a super convenient product because the tofu is already fried, which adds another nice element of flavor to our Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon. I keep them in the fridge alongside other tofu containers. You can use any tofu product here: aburaage (thin sheets of fried tofu), Yuba (tofu skin that has a chewy texture), or regular tofu. If you choose regular tofu, go for a firm one that will hold its shape in the braise. Use any leftover cutlet in my Lemongrass Tofu Rice Salad.
Now everything is prepped and we’re ready to start cooking. One of the great things about Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is that once the prep work is done, the cooking is mostly hands off. Just put everything along with the ingredients for the broth in the pot and let heat and time do its thing.
Kiriboshi daikon has a toothsome but tender texture when done. It will not cook into a melt in your mouth feel. This makes a good amount that refrigerates well. You can reheat leftovers or just eat it straight out of the fridge.
I love to make meals out of veggie sides any time of year, and it’s especially useful when meal planning for Veganaury. While the Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon is cooking, steam some rice and roast some Maple Miso Glazed Squash and throw together my Korean Cucumber Salad. In less than an hour, you will have a vegan feast full of exciting textures and flavors that will make you think, “Oh yeah, I can definitely eat like this for at least a month”.
Are you doing Veganaury this year? Drop a comment and let me know, and of course remember to tag us in all your glorious food pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 50–60g (1 small package) kiriboshi daikon
- 3 cups boiling water (for soaking daikon)
- 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 6 pieces fresh shiitake mushrooms
- ½ fried tofu cutlet (about 3 ounces)
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 ½ cups shiitake/kombu stock or vegetable stock
- ½ cup reserved soaking water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons mirin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons sake
- Trim the stem from the shiitakes and discard. Slice the shiitakes into thin pieces.
- Put the kiriboshi daikon in a colander and rinse under running water.
- Put the washed daikon into a medium bowl and cover with water. Rehydrate for 20 minutes. (It will quadruple in volume). Save ½ cup of the soaking liquid, and squeeze the water out of the soaked daikon. Cut the daikon into thirds so it is not so long.
- Cut the tofu cutlet in half horizontally into 2 thinner pieces. Then cut it into thin strips.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add carrots, shiitake mushroom, and kiriboshi daikon to the saucepan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add tofu strips and stir. Add the Broth ingredients to the saucepan, mix and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring several times until only a small amount of liquid remains. The daikon will have cooked to a toothsome tender texture.
- Serve immediately.
*This dish is just as good hot, room temperature, or cold from the fridge.