Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Rice Noodle Stir-Fry

I should have brought the wok out months ago - stir-fry is the perfect technique for a teenage cook; loud, dramatic, fast, and fun, and it's the perfect way for an amateur cooking teacher to sneak in a whole variety of lessons in chopping vegetables, making sauces, and creating balanced flavors and textures.

We are going to be woking for a while; the variations are endless. Here's this week's experiment, a vegan, wheat-free, sweet and spicy delight.

Sweet and Spicy Rice Noodle Stir-Fry
Serves 4-6

1 8-oz package rice vermicelli
1/2 cup water
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin or cooking sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
big pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons coconut or peanut oil
1 small head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (approximately 4 chopped cups)
1 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
Spicy sesame oil for serving, optional

Soak rice vermicelli in hot water, 15 minutes. Drain and set aside

Make sure all vegetables are chopped and close at hand. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, mirin or sherry, brown sugar, and cayenne. Set aside.

Heat wok over high heat - The wok is ready when a drop of water flung onto its surface evaporates immediately. Add oil and swirl to coat wok completely. Add cabbage, stir-fry 1 minute. Add mushrooms and peppers, stir-fry 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, stir-fry one minute. Add sauce and noodles and stir well to combine, 3 minutes. Add green onions.

Serve piping hot with optional spicy sesame oil.

Prepped everything, hot wok, can't lose.