08 September 2009

Almond Cabbage Noodles

Do you ever need to soothe yourself with food? Maybe your stomach has been hurting or you just don't feel well. When this happens I frequently crave Chinese bean curd soup with vegetables—from a downscale Chinese restaurant. Ha! I know what you were thinking. You thought I had a recipe for Chinese soup. Only in my dreams! I don't even want to know what they put in those broths. Please don't tell me if you know.

However sometimes a close second in comfort to Chinese soup is noodles. I'm talking about those peanut noodles you can get for take-out at some downscale Thai restaurants. But George and I find noodles made with almond butter more comforting. In a lot of stores almond butter is outrageously expensive, but in various places we've found it comparable to peanut butter in price and at Costco it was so cheap we bought 2 huge jars. Of course, you can use peanut butter instead if you want (not the nasty sugar-infused kind but the natural kind that you have to stir).

If you're gluten-free I recommend using Tinkyada brown rice spaghetti (everyone says it's the best) and of course wheat-free soy sauce.

Almond Cabbage Noodles

3 Tablespoons almond butter
2 Tablespoons sesame oil (This should be dark and Asian. Kadoya is a decent brand)
2 Tablespoons low-sodium shoyu (soy sauce that's not tamari)
2 Tablespoons mirin (if you don't have mirin you can subsitute 2 Tbsp. sake and 2 tsp. sugar)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
about 10 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta or spaghetti, broken into pieces,
1/2 Napa (Chinese) cabbage

1. Whisk together almond butter, sesame oil, shoyu, mirin, apple cider vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan. Warm it up.
2. Cook pasta.
3, Meanwhile, peel outer leaves off the cabbage until you reach fresh looking crisp white leaves without black marks. Rinse, then shred the cabbage by putting it on a cutting board and thinly slicing into it starting with the tops of the leaves and working your way toward the root. Don't use the root.
4. Place shredded cabbage in a nice big collander in the sink.
5. Drain boiling water from the pasta into the collander with the cabbage. The cabbage should wilt.
6. Put pasta, cabbage, and sauce all together in the newly drained pasta pot. Mix thoroughly. Serve warm.

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