Friday, March 19, 2010

use your noodle!

It seems that there is a special day for everything, and noodles are no exception. And why not? They're versatile, inexpensive, and delicious. Celebrate "National Noodle Month" this March with a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup, a nice chilled Japanese salad with soba noodles made of buckwheat; fry up a little lo mein, or just nuke a nice cup of ramen noodles in your favorite flavor.
The word noodle itself is derived from the German "nudel" and the first recorded writings about noodles were during the East Han Dynasty between AD 25 and 220. They differ from pasta in one major way: egg solids. The National Pasta Association (NPA) says that in order for a noodle to be legally considered a noodle, it must contain 5.5 percent egg solids by weight. Noodles are also typically made from durum flour (more finely ground than pasta's semolina). And yes, pasta has its own month - October.

Technicalities aside, here is one of my favorite noodle dishes using some of my favorite noodles - soba noodles from Japan. I love their almost chewy texture and rich flavor, and they're good cold or hot.

Soba Noodles with Macadamia and Sesame

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 ounces macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 green onion, all white and part of green, minced or sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions
Cook soba noodles in boiling water according to package directions; 6 minutes is about enough. Watch them carefully - they WILL foam up fast!
Toast macadamia nuts in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes and set aside to cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sesame seeds and saute about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, the vegetable oil, soy sauce and vinegar; whisk to combine.
Add the macadamia nuts, green onion and cilantro to the soba noodles.
Pour sesame sauce over noodles, mix thoroughly, and serve hot, room temperature, or cold. This will make about three or four servings. Two if you're serving me.

2 comments:

Doris Sturm said...

I love both pasta and noodles and could have them several times a week and not get tired of them. I just love comfort foods and am the biggest carb junkie ever -

Thanks for the info and the recipe. Have a great weekend and Happy First Day of Spring tomorrow :-)
The bees are buzzing in the blossoms of my ornamental pear trees - it's been going on for days! I love it!
Doris

Wicked Thrifty- Formerly The Thrifty Stylist said...

i tend to avoid asian noodles because i have found them slimy in the past, but i keep hearing such great things about soba that maybe i'll give this a shot :D

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