These recipes are for some of the asian noodles which I was developing and producing for about 6 months over this past year. My last post included a couple (wontons and glass noodles), and these are a few more. I had also worked out some intense chinese-style egg noodles, and feel free to contact me if you are interested in getting a recipe for them. In attempting Soba noodles I developed some very flavorful buckwheat noodles, but definitely wouldn’t call them soba. I plan on having that recipe up soon. Below are ramen noodles, dumpling dough and Xi’an-style torn noodles, vietnamese rice noodles (best for noodle bowls and other room-temp preparations) and my personal favorite out of this batch, somen noodles. Somen are essentially thin udon noodles. They have a pleasantly slippery texture which always made me think there was rice flour or some other kind of flour involved in addition to wheat flour. They don’t. You may notice that between the dumpling dough, the wonton dough and the somen dough, the differences are quite subtle. This fact significantly increased the usefulness of my experience working on these doughs, really honing in on the importance of fat, kneading, resting, water temperatures, hydration geometry, and more. I don’t have recipes for entire dishes in this post but there are plenty of recipes around which use the factory-made versions of these noodles. Using freshly made noodles will elevate any dish.
Ramen (5 portions)
225g high gluten flour
75g ap flour
13g kansui (solution of sodium bicarbonate and potassium carbonate)
115g lukewarm water
combine the kansui and water and fork it into the flour in a large bowl.
knead for 5 minutes, this will become a very firm dough.
Rest under a moist towel for 30 minutes
Knead for 1 more minute until smooth
Rest wrapped in plastic for at least an hour
Roll out to the third thinnest setting on your machine and cut using either a fettucine cutter or a sharp knife. Boil in heavily salted water for 90 seconds when ready to eat.
Dumpling dough (makes about 45 dumplings or 5 generous portions of Xi’an-style noodles)
340g ap flour
160g boiling water
55g cold water
In a bowl, pour the boiling water into the flour and mix with a fork. Then add in the cold water so that you can knead with your hands. It will be still be quite warm but as one of my chefs used to like to say “Pain don’t hurt!” knead for a full 5 minutes. Rest under a moist towel for 20 minutes. Knead for 1 more minute until the dough is smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap for at least one hour
For dumplings roll out extremely thin using a rolling pin and cut using a round mold that’s appr. 3.5 inches. Lay out the discs on parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate for 90 minutes or up to 1 day. fill with your favorite vegan meatball recipe. fold by grasping one part of the edge between your thumb and first finger until it sticks together, then picking up the adjacent couple centimeters of the edge and pressing that into the first fold. continue until you get all the way around and have a little knot on top of the filling. twist off any excess dough. cook in salted boikling water until the dumplings float to the top.
For Xi’an style noodles, use dumpling scrap or fresh dough, rolled out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut or tear them in rustic strips. Flour them aggressively as they will stick together. boil in salted water for about 90 seconds and toss with sauce when you are ready to eat.
Yields approx. 10 portions
Whisk together 750g water and 750g rice flour. Let the flour settle over the course of a few days while it ferments.
Remove extraneous water carefully. Weigh out 1000g of smooth but thick batter.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil until rippling, then pour in batter and stir with a wooden spoon just until a ball.
For 775g ball, Mix with 100g tapioca starch. knead in the mixer just until it forms a ball. It should be a touch sticky against the bottom of the bowl. Knead by hand for one minute until it is not sticky but is still soft.
Extrude through iddiyapam press directly into simmering heavily salted water for 20-30 seconds and shock in salted water. They will not become totally firm in the hot water - carefully spider them into the ice water where they become strong. Portion into 145g bundles.
Yields approx. 5 portions
300g ap flour
150g hot water from the tap
4g blended oil
Combine flour and salt In a mixing bowl. combine water and oil. Fork the liquid into the flour. Need for 5 minutes until soft but smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes. Roll out to the third thinnest setting on your pasta machine and cut using either a fettucine cutter or a sharp knife. Boil in salted water for about 90 seconds right before eating.
The other night I taught a sold-out class at Audrey Claire’s Cook on making fresh pastas from around the world. Some of these component recipes are already up on the blog, but most are not and they are all together here (except for the bulgur filling and chile oil which will be added soon). The menu was: Bulgur wontons with chili oil Pandan glass noodles with turmeric vinaigrette, cashews, and green mango Pappardelle with lentils, fermented escarole and apple Gnocchi with mushroom ragu and pickled mustard seeds.
Cauliflower and olives is not too common of a combination but its a classic Italian pairing, especially around Marche. Cauliflower has a remarkable flavor of its own, but it pairs with strong flavors very well - gojuchang, olives, horseradish, even cocoa if it’s done right. The simple flavors in this dish become more than the sum of their parts and make a startling contrast to the essentially white-on-white presentation.
Sweat the shallots, garlic and almonds in ¼ cup of olive oil with a teaspoon of salt over low heat, covered. When that’s soft and flavorful, after about 10 minutes, add the cauliflower. When they’re tender, add the white wine. Reduce until the pan’s almost dry, then add 1 cup water. Simmer for 3 minutes or so until the cauliflower is soft. Blend thoroughly, pass through a chinois and season with salt.
Boil the pasta
Warm the cauliflower cream gently and add in the olives, capers, and almonds. Toss in the pasta. Adjust the thickness of the sauce with water if necessary. Toss in the parsley and serve.
This satisfying wintry dish is all about a well-stocked larder. Lentils, onions, dried pasta, preserved vegetables. The real star is this fermented escarole. It’s another idea from Ideas in Food, although it’s basically saurkraut. Escarole has always been my favorite green, but I always thought it would get stringy and mushy if fermented. Not true. You could put this on anything.
This is a very good salad if you are craving fresh vegetables but still want a warming winter meal.
Ginger is a strange part of a plant called a rhizome. Other well-known rhizomes include ginseng and turmeric. Ginger can elevate a lot of fall/winter flavors and it coincidentally helps warm the body. Rhizomes are very tough and fibrous and so their flavor is usually infused into dishes by grating, infusing oils, juicing, or drying and making into powder. But there are a few ways to make their intact flesh edible - namely through pickling or cooking them slowly in oil. This latter method makes ginger into little flavor bombs while simultaneously mellowing it’s harshness by drowning it in fat. It also works beautifully on fresh turmeric.
Split peas have a very unique flavor that’s at it’s best when balanced by salty and savory. This soup is brothy and fatty and full of flavor. One alternative to the miso bits that I want to try is to drizzle in a little fermented black beans with chili.
Seitan? Fake meat? Not so much. It takes a little bit of work, and I haven’t mastered making it from scratch yet, but seitan is a legitimate food product in it’s own right. It’s no more processed than bread and one cold even argue that it takes less equipment to make. It has hundreds of years of tradition behind it and making the good stuff is truly an art form. And just because it cooks a lot like meat doesn’t mean it’s trying to be meat. Now that we’ve gotten that out of our way, this is a super-exciting dish to me. I love manischewitz wine. Deal with it. It’s fermented concord grapes. But to cook with, I highly suggest Mogen David brand concord grape wine - it’s still sweet but the flavor is much clearer. I also include fresh concord grapes in the recipe even though they’re season is already done for the year. they add a nice touch but the dish stands without them. This dish is a lot like the common Port Seitan that’s served at a lot of vegan restaurants, also similar to Veal Marsala. It’s just better than them.
Their texture is more like rice gnocchi than rice dumplings or rice cakes. And their flavor is concentrated like nothing else - if you use jasmine rice you really do taste jasmine. This recipe is from the Dumpling book, and even though I wasn’t a fan of the Indian stew they made these with, the dumpling recipe was spot on. I have some plans to make these italianish sometime soon, but for now, here’s a nice red curry, based on one I found in David Thompson’s uncompromising book: Thai Food. In this picture, I used Chinese black rice, which has it’s own unique flavor. And although I used a perfectly ripe hachiya persimmon - a fuyu one or pineapple chunks or pomegranate seeds would also work.