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Category: Ingredient

Beef Japchae

Beef Japchae

I don’t like to abuse the phrase “game changer”, but sometimes its use is warranted. And this Beef Japchae recipe is one of those times. Japchae is as ubiquitous in Korea as mac and cheese is in the states but it’s more versatile. Although it’s read more

8 Treasure Rice

8 Treasure Rice

Lunar New Year starts on February 10th this year. It is a 2 week celebration that is one of the most (raucously!) celebrated holidays of the year for the more than 1.5 billion people worldwide that celebrate. Think fireworks, parades, elaborate decorations, gifts, new festive read more

Vegetarian Flat Noodles

Vegetarian Flat Noodles

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!

ingredients vegetarian flat noodles

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.

sauce ingredients vegetarian flat noodles

sauce vegetarian flat noodles

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.

red onion and chives

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.

tofu vegetarian flat noodles

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.

onions and tofu noodles

bean sprouts spinach flat noodles

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:

Spicy Garlic Noodles

Coconut Curry Noodles

Beef Udon

Pancit

 

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Vegetarian Flat Noodles

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2-3 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Sauce:

  • 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

Instructions

Mix the sauce:

  1. Combine the vegetarian oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, ground white pepper, and water.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Make Noodles:

  1. Cut the noodles into 1 inch strips. Peel the noodles apart and set aside.
  2. Trim ½ inch off of the base of the garlic chives. Cut into 2 inch pieces. You should have about ¾ cup. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Add the garlic, ginger, and black beans and stir to combine. 
  6. Next add the noodles and stir fry for 1 minute, moving them around the pan to start softening the noodles. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve immediately.   

Notes

*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

Vegetarian Bibimbap

Vegetarian Bibimbap

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

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

A while back I posted my take on Okonomiyaki, Japan’s famous savory cabbage pancake. It’s filled to the brim with yummy delights like shrimp and bacon, and remains a family fave. But sometimes I’m craving this deconstructed version, where I cook just the cabbage, drizzled read more

Makanai Noodles

Makanai Noodles

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant before you may be familiar with family meal. In our restaurants, family meal is always served between lunch and dinner shifts so the whole staff can eat together. Ideally family meals are filling, quick to make so they can still crank out food for diners, and makes use of things we already have on hand (or maybe need to use up soon). Additionally, since we are a melting pot of people, it’s important to me that everyone enjoys the hot meals that we provide. We always try to impress the trifecta of a successful employee meal onto our cooks: cheap, fast, and tasty.

Enter Makanai Noodles. Makanai means in-home in Japanese and some form of these noodles or other appear weekly and are always greeted enthusiastically. (Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t LOVE noodles?) This dish is packed with protein from eggs and beef which helps fuel everyone through a busy shift. Makanai Noodles are also super versatile. Want a vegetarian version? No problem, just substitute the beef for tofu or other vegetables and use vegetable stock in place of chicken. Have some ground turkey or leftover roast chicken that needs to be used up? Awesome, that will be a delicious variation. As much as our staff loves them, these noodles are a favorite for the cook too; easy and fast to prepare so let’s get into it!

ingredients make noodles

I start making Makanai Noodles by soaking the noodles. They need to soak in cool water until they are pliable, which takes about 20 minutes. Today, I’m using a type of Japanese noodle called Malony. They are made from potato starch, which means they are gluten free. Sometimes, they are marketed as glass noodles and they have a delightful chewy, bouncy texture. You can substitute rice noodles, sweet potato noodles (like for japchae), or bean thread noodles as well.

I like to put dry noodles in zip top bags for soaking. I can never find a bowl that can fit long strands so this trick allows for even soaking without having to fuss with positioning your dry noodles.

drain noodles

While the noodles are soaking, I prep everything else, starting with whipping up a very fast and deeply flavorful sauce. It may seem like it makes a lot, but the noodles really soak it up.

soy sauce

sugar makanai noodles

Once the sauce is done, I prep the veggies. Makanai Noodles is a stir fry dish which comes together very quickly when I start to cook, so I get every thing ready and within reach.

green onions

I wipe and slice the shiitake mushrooms, mince the garlic and ginger, and whisk the eggs.

shiitake mushrooms

Then I gather everything together by the stove so that once that cooking starts, it’s super fast and seamless.

ingredients makanai noodles

Start by heating a pan until it’s good and hot and then adding the oil. Swirl the oil and pour the egg in. The egg should be cooked for only a minute because it will finish cooking with the noodles. You want soft, pillowy eggs that are not tough or rubbery because they are overcooked.

noodles

This dish yields a dry noodle so you should not have much liquid in the pan once the noodles are cooked. If you are using a different noodle than I am, you may need to cook them longer or you may find that there is still some liquid in the pan once the noodles are fully cooked. Tasting the noodle is the best way to know if it is cooked through. Taste a strand after the stated cooking time and if it has a core or tastes too firm, cook the noodles for several more minutes, adding a little extra water to the pan if needed. On the other hand, if you’re using very thin noodles, your pan may still have a good amount of liquid in the pan. Turn up the heat and stir regularly until the sauce has cooked down.

Now these delectable Makanai Noodles are ready to be served family style! Dig in and hope there’s enough for seconds.

I hope our restaurant’s family’s favorite noodles become a favorite in your house too. Let me know what you think, leave a comment on the recipe and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

And if you’re a noodle-holic like me, check out some of our other popular noodle recipes. Like Longevity Noodles (perfect for New Year’s!), Pancit, or these addictive Coconut Curry Noodles.

 

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recipe card makanai noodles

Makanai Noodles

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: entrees
  • Cuisine: japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 7 ounces dried malony noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 5 stems scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch segments
  • ½ large onion thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 eggs 

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the noodles in a bowl of cool water for 20 minutes or until the noodles are pliant. 

Make the sauce:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Make the noodles:

  1. Drain the noodles and set aside. 
  2. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Scramble the eggs with a fork or whisk.
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok pan over medium high heat for several minutes until the pan is hot and you see some wisps of smoke. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil and add the egg, gently scrambling for a minute until the egg is half cooked. Transfer the egg to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining oil and swirl to coat the pan. Next add the ground beef and onions and let it sit untouched for a minute and then break it up with a spoon or chopsticks continuing to stir fry for another minute.
  5. Then add the minced ginger, and garlic and stir for a couple seconds.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms, the drained noodles, and the sauce.
  7. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes until the noodles have soaked up most of the sauce and are cooked through, but are still chewy and bouncy.
  8. Add the scallions and egg back into the noodles and cook for another minute until the scallions are wilted and the egg cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer the noodles to a platter and serve immediately.

Notes

*To make this gluten free, look for gluten free versions of soy, oyster, and hoisin sauces.

*You can substitute any protein for the ground beef and any leftover meat like roast chicken is fine too.

*You can use different noodles like rice, bean thread, or sweet potato as well, adjusting the cooking time depending on the thickness of the noodle. Increase the cooking time and add a little more water if you find the pan too dry and your noodles still firm. If you use very thin noodles and have too much liquid once the noodles are cooked, raise the heat and cook off some of the residual sauce.

*If you don’t have all three sauces (hoisin, oyster, and soy), you can use just 2 but one should be soy sauce. Double up on the other sauce.

*Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stove top for a several minutes on moderate heat until the noodles are hot and regain the original chewy texture.

Keywords: noodles, makanai, gluten free, eggs, beef, veggies