Monday, October 11, 2010

Vegan Thai Garden Stir Fry With Rice Noodles - Penseys' Bangkok Blend

Stir fry onions, peppers, shitake and zucchini with garlic and ginger.

Add cabbage to other veggies and toss frequently.

Fast growing Chinese Kaboko cabbage from my garden.

Penseys' Bangkok Blend for Thai style cooking.

Soak rice noodles in hot water, rinse and add to stir fry.

Tonight's Dinner brought to you by Mother Earth!
It was one of those evenings when I was trying to use up the last of the zucchini from my summer garden and an enormous head of Chinese cabbage from my new winter garden. I just planted 6 starts of Kaboko Chinese cabbage about 4 weeks prior and already had these huge heads ready to eat. So I took out my non-stick electric wok and cooked up all the veggies I had in the house along with some fresh shitake mushrooms and rice noodles.

Health Benefits of Cabbage
There have been hundreds of studies that have linked cabbage to cancer prevention. This cruciferous vegetable provides this benefit due to its high content of antioxidants and glucosinolates. Cabbage also can lower cholesterol. Many of these studies show maximum benefit when the cabbage is steamed or sautéed only for a brief period of time. In this recipe, the cabbage is added towards the end and cooked for only a few minutes so it should provide the maximum health benefits.

Bangkok Blend
Did you ever purchase an interesting spice and forget to use it? I went crazy with a Penseys catalog a while back and bought dozens of spices. Some of them made it to the back shelf and were forgotten. Bangkok blend unfortunately, was one of them. When I decided to make this stir fry I was looking around for spices to use and rediscovered it. Bangkok blend is a mixture of sweet peppers, garlic, ginger, black pepper, galangal, hot peppers, lemon grass, basil and cilantro. It's nice and spicy and is wonderful in this stir fry. I use 1 tablespoon in this recipe for medium heat. For a less spicy dish, you can reduce it to 2 teaspoons and if you want to bring tears to your eyes, you can use 4 or more teaspoons.

How to make Rice Noodles
In case I'm not the only one who ignores instructions clearly written on a package, I thought I'd point out that rice noodles are never boiled. To cook them properly, you boil water, remove it from the heat, immerse the rice noodles in the hot water for the specified time, drain and serve. The first time I cooked rice noodles, I assumed you boiled them like spaghetti. I'm Italian. How else would you do it? After watching the rice noodles disintegrate before my eyes, I decided to read the package.


Thai Garden Stir Fry with Rice Noodles
[serves 4]
1 tablespoon Penseys' Bangkok Blend (or other Thai seasoning)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unrefined sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
2 cups fresh shitake mushrooms, cut in half or thirds
1 head Chinese cabbage, 1 inch slices (about 10 cups)
7 ounces of dry rice noodles

This dish is best cooked in a non stick wok.
Mix Bangkok blend and cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly mix in soy sauce and water and set aside.
Boil water for noodles. Remove it from the heat. Soak noodles while making the stir fry which will take about 8 or 9 minutes. Make sure noodles remain firm, rinse and set aside.
Heat oil and quickly stir in ginger and garlic until fragrant (no more than 10 seconds).
Add onions, peppers, zucchini and shitake mushrooms and toss frequently for 5 minutes until the veggies just begin to soften.
Add cabbage to the wok and toss frequently until the cabbage and all veggies are crisp tender, about 4 minutes.
Stir up cornstarch mixture and mix into the stir fry until it thickens.
Carefully mix in the rice noodles and serve immediately.

Per serving: 304 calories, 4.4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 9.8 g protein, 58.8 g carbohydrates and 5.0 g fiber.

1 comment:

Debra said...

Joanne, this looks so delicious and fun. I can't believe your amazing cabbage from your garden. WOW~it's gorgeous!! I love these types of dishes and anything Thai. Now all I need is some Penseys' Bangkok Blend:)