Tag Archives: sesame noodles

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Like to cook once and eat twice? This is a perfect double duty recipe.  I made this meatball mixture originally for potsticker filling.  Rather than making a huge batch of those, I used half for the gyoza, and used the other half for these fabulous meatballs.  Some quickie sesame noodles while the meatballs cook and you have dinner on the table lickety split.  If you don’t want to use them all right away, just stick the cooked meatballs in a freezer bag and save for another day.

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Asian Meatballs with Sesame Noodles

Meatballs:
1/2 – 1 pound ground pork (I used one pound, which will make a double batch or use half for gyoza filling)
1 shredded carrot
1 inch ginger, minced
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
3-4 green onions, chopped

Noodles:
1 package thin spaghetti noodles
1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce (or more to taste)
1 tsp. lime juice
Salt (if needed – sometimes the soy sauce is salty enough on its own)
1-2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a bowl, combine meatball ingredients.  Roll into meatballs and space evenly on a baking sheet.

Meatballs!

Meatballs!

Bake for 30-40 minutes until brown and cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking, bring water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions.  When noodles are ready to drain, throw the spinach into the water with them, then drain the whole thing.  Toss with the other ingredients and then gently toss with the meatballs.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot or cold.

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An Anniversary and a Potsticker

Today marks a year since I started this blog.  It started with Project Veggie, our month-long journey of exploring vegetarianism.  Although we ultimately decided to keep eating meat, it did result in more mindful eating, a lean toward more healthy food and a focus on whole and natural foods and less processed crap.  Claire, age 12, has become quite the little cook, and Luke, age 17, has become even more adept at eating our creations.  This blog now has about 70 subscribers (yay!), and has been viewed more than 7000 times!  I’ll admit to getting a little thrill when people tell me they’re reading it, or sharing it, or cooking from it.  Very cool, folks.

In short, thanks for reading.  I hope you continue to do so.  Keep cooking, and eat your veggies.  And I’ll keep pelting you with new recipes.  And that’s enough blabbering on about THAT.

In my quest to find the perfect potsticker recipe, I tried a new one the other day.  I’m coming to the conclusion that there is no potsticker I don’t like.  These were wonderful.

Chicken Lemongrass Potstickers

Chicken Lemongrass Potstickers

Chicken Lemongrass Potstickers
(adapted from Food & Wine)

1 pound ground chicken
1 cup finely sliced or shredded napa cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely grated lemongrass (2 stalks)
2 tbsp. minced chives
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
Canola oil for cooking
1-2 pkg. gyoza wrappers

Ponzu Dipping Sauce

1 tbsp. chopped green onions
3 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic chile sauce
1/4 tsp. fish sauce

Mix all potsticker ingredients in a bowl (other than gyoza wrappers and oil).  Line two baking sheets with wax paper.  On a lightly floured surface (or surface lined with wax paper), lay out gyoza wrappers a few at a time.  Place 1 tbsp. filling in the center of each one.

Making potstickers.  Not too much filling, you want to be able to seal them well without it squishing out the edges.

Making potstickers. Not too much filling, you want to be able to seal them well without it squishing out the edges.

Dab around the edge with a bit of water.  Lift edges on both sides to meet at the top in the center and crimp together, making a good seal.  Set on the baking sheet, flattening a bit on the bottom.

Ready to cook. If you want to freeze any of these for another day, stop here and freeze, then store in zip lock bags.

Ready to cook. If you want to freeze any of these for another day, stop here and freeze on the tray, then store in freezer bags.  This recipe made two trays like this.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp. of canola or vegetable oil over medium high heat.  To test to see if it’s hot enough, flick a few drops of water in the pan.  If they sizzle, you’re good to go. Working in batches, set dumplings in the pan, leaving a bit of space between each one.  Cook about 2 minutes, until bottoms are brown.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover.  Cook about 4-5 minutes more, until water evaporates.  Remove from pan and enjoy hot.

NOTE:  If you want to freeze part of these, make them up (but don’t cook them), set them on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Once frozen, you can put them in a freezer bag.  To cook, DO NOT THAW FIRST.  Just heat the oil as above, set frozen potstickers in the pan, cook a few minutes on the bottom, add 1/2 cup water, cover and steam until water evaporates, 5-7 minutes.

I served these with sautéed string beans and sesame noodles with ponzu sauce for dipping.

Chicken Lemongrass Potstickers with Sesame Noodles and String Beans

Chicken Lemongrass Potstickers with Sesame Noodles and String Beans

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Sesame Snap Peas & Noodles

Pasta is so good, but unfortunately not that great for you in large quantities.  That’s why I’m always trying to find ways to make it a little more healthy.  And that usually means piling on the veggies.  Luckily, my kitchen is usually well-stocked with vegetables of all sorts since I tend to buy everything that looks good at farmer’s markets on the weekends.  And believe me, EVERYTHING looks good this time of year!

I love this Asian take on noodles and veggies.  It’s such a quick and satisfying meal.  I used brown rice noodles, keeping with the Asian theme and also keeping it gluten-free.  As far as gluten-free noodles go, I really like these; they are very similar to regular pasta in taste and texture.  But any type of pasta will work great.  In this dish, I love the contrast of the cool noodles with the hot stir-fried veggies and light, zippy sauce.  Perfect for a summer dinner.

Sesame Snap Peas & Noodles

Sesame Snap Peas & Noodles

8 oz. thin spaghetti or angel hair
1 tsp. garlic chile paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 pound snap peas, strings pulled and sliced in half
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp mince fresh garlic
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 spring onion, sliced or diced
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Cook noodles until tender, but firm to the bite, 6-8 minutes.  Rinse with cool water and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine, garlic chile paste, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and sugar.  Set aside.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of canola oil.  Add snap peas, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, and onion.  Stir fry a few minutes until veggies are crisp tender.  Add bowl of sauce and sesame seeds and stir well to combine.  Cook for another minute or so.  Toss with noodles and serve.  Serves 4.

Sesame Snap Peas & Noodles

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Project Veggie: Day 9 – Sesame Noodles & Broccoli Stir Fry

Traditional Chinese food is something I have not had much luck replicating perfectly at home.  I’ve tried.  I’ve used recipes.  I’ve got cookbooks.  I’ve had some successes certainly, yummy results…sure, but tasting like true Chinese take out…no dice.  I don’t know if it’s the ingredients, the equipment, the know-how.  Probably all three.  But I’ve decided to stop trying to figure it out.  Some things should remain a mystery.  So when I’m really craving Chinese I usually order out from the place a couple blocks from my house, and when I walk in the door to pick it up, the owner yells out, “Welcome home!”  Then he hands me my food and says “Here you go, Cutie!”  I get mouth-watering take-out and a compliment in less than 10 minutes, for under 10 bucks.  Can’t beat it.  So I don’t try.  Instead, I do many Asian-inspired stir fry type things.  They have less to do with recipes or ethnic authenticity and more to do with blending some of my favorite flavors with whatever happens to be in my fridge at the time.

My son Luke is a freak for noodles.  Always has  been.  I’ve been feeding my kids ethnic food – really, whatever I was eating – ever since they started eating food.  As a result, they like pretty much everything now.  But when they were little, I started out simple, introducing them to new flavors slowly and adding more as we went along.  Sesame noodles are something I’ve been making for them since they were small.  It’s perfect for kids (or picky adults) because there are no weird ingredients.  Simple and basic, they are perfect by themselves or with any stir fry.  They are delicious served hot, cold, or in between.  This time I paired them with a spicy broccoli stir fry.

Sesame Noodles & Broccoli Stir Fry

Sesame Noodles

1 pkg. thin spaghetti or angel hair noodles
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds (you can buy them toasted or toast them yourself a minute or two in a skillet on the stove)
2 tbsp. sliced green onions

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Do not overcook!  Drain and rinse (I don’t normally rinse pasta but I usually do with this since I prefer it at room temperature and don’t like it to stick together).  Add other ingredients and toss.

 

Broccoli Stir Fry

1 tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
2 cups of broccoli florets
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1-2 tsp. garlic chile sauce (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. sugar

Heat oil in skillet or wok over med-high heat.  Add garlic & ginger and saute a minute until fragrant.  Add veggies, stir fry for a few minutes.  Add garlic chile sauce (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it), sesame oil and sugar.  Continue to stir fry until veggies are crisp-tender.  Serve with noodles.

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