|my typical breakfast|
The udon noodle recipe, however, definitely counts as a new experience. I don't cook much Asian food and I've never in my life used fresh ginger or udon noodles, but that's what this blog is all about--trying new things. I had to look at the ginger root for a minute before some long-forgotten memory (or possibly common sense?) kicked in and I pulled out my vegetable peeler to peel off the skin before taking the microplane grater to it. There was a ton of ginger root left over so I Googled how to store it and burst out laughing when I came across this tip from a woman who "used to tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, but then one day while pregnant with [her son] and HIGHLY emotional...felt sorry for the ginger suffocating in the wrap and started crying." Too funny.
While I enjoyed the noodles (enough to eat the leftovers, obviously) I was surprised by the flavor composition of the sauce. Nearly half of it was honey almond butter, but it wasn't really sweet like I expected it to be. The almond sauce in this recipe is a twist on peanut sauce; my only memory of peanut sauce is an overpowering sweetness that I didn't care for 7 years ago and have avoided ever since. This was very different, and not just because it was almond sauce instead of peanut sauce. The ginger overpowered most of the sweetness in the nut butter making it a little sweet with more spiciness; it was a very unexpected flavor combination.
I still haven't gotten up the courage to tackle tofu in the kitchen so I decided I'd use some shrimp instead, but the shrimp in my freezer had apparently been there for a while and looked...less than appetizing. So Gardein protein was my only readily-available option and it actually turned out pretty well. I'm not a recipe purist. I think you should stick to it in a general way, but if the recipe calls for peanut butter and you only have almond butter or the main protein is supposed to be chicken but you prefer shrimp, I say go for it. You're the one eating it so make it your own. I definitely do.
This recipe was really good and using the wok was pretty easy so I'm thinking about a seafood and vegetable stir fry for next week.
Udon Noodles with Almond Sauce and Tofu
Adapted from a recipe at FitMamaEats (the ingredients are mostly the same but I changed the directions based on my experience)
- 1/2 cup skim milk (1% or 2% is fine is that's what's already in your fridge)
- 1/2 cup almond butter (I used honey almond butter, again because it was on-hand)
- 1 T grated fresh ginger root
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 T lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 t cayenne pepper
- 2 c broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 Gardein scallopini "filets"
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 6 oz dry udon noodles (The only place I could find these was World Market)
- 2 T sesame oil
- 2 T chopped almonds, for garnish
- dd broccoli, carrots, scallions and protein to wok and stir-fry until lightly cooked but still crisp, about 5 minutes. As soon as the vegetables start to cook, a When vegetables are cooked but still crisp, turn heat on wok down to low, d
- Pour sauce over noodles and toss to combine, making sure noodles are thoroughly coated. Plate noodles and sprinkle with 1/2 t sliced almonds on each serving.
Update: I actually enjoyed this meal even more the second time. Maybe sitting in the fridge overnight let the flavors marry a bit more? It tasted more cohesive as a whole dish. Whatever the difference, it was ridiculously good. I'll definitely be making this recipe again soon.