Tag Archives: soy sauce

Chargrilled Broccoli and Beans with Chilli, Garlic and Sweet Soy Rice Noodles

10 Jul DCIM100MEDIA

I know broccoli isn’t usually the most exciting of vegetables. I know it can be a bit bland and boring. Time to rethink that. With this treatment it transforms into a shining star.

Seriously, we can’t get enough of it. The Washer Up, my toughest critic, has claimed it his favourite thing. To quote “This is the best thing you’ve ever made”. You can’t argue with that can you?

My best friend Tara bought me the Ottolenghi cookbook for my birthday. I am steadily working my way through it and every recipe that I have tried has been a definite winner. It’s all about the flavour and colour which is the kind of food I love. It has a definite Middle Eastern theme, but not solely. There are recipes from all over the world.

What I noticed, while flicking through, was that a lot of the food is cooked on a griddle pan. It adds to the flavour and appearance of a dish, giving a certain smokiness and the attractive black stripes that make such a difference to the overall impression.

I didn’t own griddle pan. I do now. Get ready for chargrilled everything.

It is chargrilling the broccoli and then drenching it in a garlic & chilli infused olive oil that makes this dish so special. You can serve it on its own, as a side dish with anything, or make it the star on top of some sweet soy rice noodles. Either way it’s delicious. You need to try this. 

Chargrilled Broccoli & Beans with Garlic, Chilli & Sweet Soy Rice Noodles

serves 2 -3, vegan, gluten-free. Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

  • 1 large head broccoli
  • a handful of french beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced (or 1 hot red chilli)
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 250 gr fat (XL) rice noodles (or any noodles)
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or use soy sauce plus 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • a handful of cashew nuts or flaked almonds, toasted

Separate the broccoli into florets with small stems still attached. Trim off  the stalk ends of the beans. Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for exactly 2 minutes (no more). Then quickly transfer it, with a slotted spoon, to a large bowl of iced water, to stop the cooking. Now do the same with the beans.

Drain the broccoli & beans in a colander and then spread them out on a clean tea towel and leave to dry completely.

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and rinse under the cold tap to stop them sticking together. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the dried veg with 3 tbsp olive oil and season generously with salt & black pepper. Place a ridged griddle pan over a high heat and leave it for 5 minutes to heat up. Grill the veg in batches so it’s not too crowded. Leave them for a minute on one side then turn them over so they get nice char marks on all sides. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue to griddle the rest.

Meanwhile put the 75 ml olive oil in a small saucepan with the sliced garlic & chillies. Cook them over a medium heat until the garlic just starts to turn golden brown. Don’t let it burn. Remove from the heat and pour the hot oil over the bowl of hot broccoli & beans and toss together well. Check seasoning.

Heat up a wok, or large frying pan, over a medium high heat, add in the cooked noodles, kecap manis (or soy sauce & honey), sesame oil and oyster sauce. Heat through the noodles and then throw in the veg. Toss everything together well and serve in deep bowls.

Squeeze over some lemon/lime juice and sprinkle with the toasted nuts and chopped coriander.

You are going to love this. Broccoli has never tasted so good, honestly. If you don’t own a grill pan go out and buy one now.

It’s just a bit of a bitch to clean….. Apparently.

Things that made me smile today…..

Dragonflies…

Butterflies….

And bugs…

Hasta Luego!!

Burmese Noodle Curry Recipe

15 Oct

Burma is bordered by India, China & Thailand making it’s cuisine an eclectic mix of Indian spices, Chinese noodles & soy sauce & Thai flavours. When we had the restaurant every Wednesday evening we had “A Culinary Journey Through India & Asia” where we visited a different country or regions cuisine every week. It was extremely popular and the currrent owners Tim & Tony have extended it to the world! The Asian nights were a great opportunity for us to try new dishes, the most popular of which we would incorporate into the menu. One of these dishes was a Burmese Chicken Noodle Curry which was a favourite with many customers. I have used the same flavours in this vegetable version.

Burmese Vegetable Noodle Curry

Burmese Vegetable Noodle Curry Recipe

Serves 2 or 3 Vegetarian

  • a big handful of mixed mushrooms (I used Shitake & Oyster mushrooms)
  • 1/2 courgette shaved into fat ribbons with a peeler (or chopped finely)
  • a handful of finely sliced cabbage
  • 1 tbsp Thai curry paste (I used Matsaman curry paste from Cock Brand because it has a yellow colour & more Indian flavour)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (I use Kecap Manis because it has sweeter flavour)
  •  1tsp brown sugar (or palm sugar)
  •  250 ml coconut milk
  •  25o ml water (or veg stock )
  • 160 gr dried wheat or egg noodles
  • 3 tsp sambal oelek (an indonesian chilli paste) you can use whatever you have to your taste.
  • fresh lime juice & lime wedges to garnish
  • a handful of chopped coriander
  • spring onions finely chopped to garnish
  1. Heat some oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the mushrooms, cabbage & courgette & cook over a medium high heat for about 2 mins.
  2. Add the curry paste, powder & turmeric and coat the vegetables then add the soy sauce, brown sugar & coconut milk. Leave it to simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
  4. Add the water or veg stock to the curry and bring back to the boil, add the sambal oelek (chilli sauce) and check seasoning you may want to add more soy sauce or sugar.
  5. Add the cooked noodles to the curry and toss to coat & warm through
  6. Add the juice of half a lime and the some of the fresh coriander. Check again for seasoning.
  7. Serve in bowls garnished with lime wedges, chopped spring onions & the rest of the coriander.

This really is a deliciously different and easy curry to make. You can use whatever vegetables you like or have, but the it is nice to have something with a bit of crunch like the cabbage to give a contrast to the gorgeous slippery noodles.

The Washer Up said this is one of the best things I have ever cooked, so give it a try you can also add some prawns & fish sauce or chicken if you are that way inclined.

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