I don’t even know where to begin. A few years ago, I asked my chick friend to be my “date” to my academic program’s–which was more like a nerdy fraternity–semester formal. Bringing a guy when you’re in the middle of anything and everything with the gender makes it complicated, like starting to date someone at the beginning of February. What in the world do you do for Valentine’s Day? So, because of the Valentine’s Day dilemma of early relationships, I brought a chick friend, and my second favorite memory of the night is her eating my sesame ginger noodles and ranting and raving about how totally awesome they are. My number one favorite memory? Her, against all my good advice, eating a raw clove of garlic “just to see”, and then her crying and crying. I have photos as proof, a sort of permanent “I told you so.”
So please, Readers, bypass Memory #1 and go to Memory #2. These noodles rule. And whoa, I totally just typed “these noodles rool.” I changed it, but then admitted it, so I’m not sure why I changed it.. or admitted it. Anyway, They rule. Rool. Rül. Whatever. They’re good. I ate them cold out of some random Tupperware last night before a group interview. I ate them hot, voraciously, Fantastic Mr. Fox-style two nights ago, fresh out of the pot. And now I’m seriously considering going downstairs to eat the rest of them with my bare hands. I should never blog when I’m hungry..
The best part about these noodles is that they’re exactly how I like them to be. However, I took a huge batch on a college spring break woo party! trip to the coast, and everyone I went with loved them, too. The point? You can make them how you love them.. and everyone else will probably still love them, too.
Second best part about these noodles? You can use almost any vegetable hanging out in your fridge. It’s a nice “everything but the sink” sort of recipe that, as I so guiltily admitted, works well hot, cold, or with your bare hands. And if you don’t dig sesame that much, just replace it with more soy sauce or more oyster sauce or more vegetable oil! If you super love ginger, add more. Again, see where I’m going with this? Make this how you, dear Reader, like it. And you’ll thank me, and yourself, for it.
Here’s, however, what I used as vegetables:
Half a bunch bok choy, super white part discarded and the rest cut into about 3/4″ slices, starting where there’s always some green on the edge of the heart.
Half a bunch green onions, cut into 1″ pieces.
One singular stalk of broccoli, but only because that’s all I had, steamed and then thrown in at the end.
1/3 block of firm tofu, because, if you think about it, it was a vegetable at one point in time.. and I’m Southern. Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable here.
Aw, man, that’s it this time. I usually have bean sprouts and bamboo shoots and weird other stuff, but I just went with whatever I had laying around this time. Either way, I just reheated some and ate it with an actual fork and hoooooly mama. It’s good.
Here’s a play-by-play:
To make the sauce:
Mix the cornstarch and soy sauce til really smooth, then add all the other sauce ingredients, and put over low heat, stirring til nice and smooth and chocolaty-looking:
Fry garlic and the white bits of bok choy in vegetable oil about five minutes, until the bok choy starts to soften.. I like to poke and prod at the heart and make it do little pliés, a fancy ballet word for knee-bending. I’m mean:
Now’s a good time to start marinating the tofu:
Then I add in the whiter parts of the green onion, the stronger tasting parts, and fry about three minutes:
Then I put evvvverything else in, fry until delicious-looking, coat the cooked 8 ounces of pasta with the sauce, and then throw in the veggies. Season to taste and then go wild. Wild, I tell you!
Sesame Ginger Noodles and Stuff Vegetables
4 teaspoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon garlic ginger paste, or just ginger paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks bok choy, super white parts discarded and the rest cut into 3/4″ pieces, pure greens parts separated from hearty parts–hearty meaning pieces with some semblance of a white heart remaining.
half bunch green onions, cut into 1″ pieces, thick whitish parts separated from greens
1 stalk broccoli, steamed
8 ounces spaghetti or Asian noodles
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 block firm tofu
Note: It’s good to have a pot of water at the verge of a boil during the first few steps of the recipe. That way, you can crank up the heat and have it boiling when you’re exactly ready, which is around when you throw in the meaty whitish parts of the green onion [step 3].
Marinate: Combine all marinade liquids, cut the third of a block of tofu into bite-size cubes and toss in marinade. When ready to use, drain really well.
1. Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce well. Add to the rest of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until thickened.
2. Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil over medium heat, then throw in garlic and hearty pieces of bok choy. Fry, stirring often, for about five minutes.
3. [Start pasta in boiling water, if you’re using traditional spaghetti.] Throw in meaty whitish parts of the green onion and fry, stirring often, for about three minutes.
4. Throw in the bok choy greens and the green onion greens and fry til a little wilty.
5. Throw in broccoli and fry a little.
6. Once pasta is finished, drain well and toss back into the pot. Coat with sauce and throw in all vegetables. Coat carefully, so as not to break up much of the broccoli, then fold in drained tofu and serve.