Category Archives: Asian

Food Matters Project #26: Veggie Stir Fry

Another exciting recipe for the Food Matters Project!

This weeks host is Big Girls Small Kitchen College.  It’s a blog written by college students across the country on how to cook, eat, drink and live on and off campus.  There are a number of contributors that provide recipes and college stories.  Today’s contributor, Jen, chose the Crispy Rice Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Chicken; check out her version of the recipe here.  For all Food Matters Project contributors recipes, look under the comments section on this page.

I really enjoy making Asian food, especially since the home version is always healthier than the takeout!  Although I glanced over Mark Bittman’s recipe in the Food Matters Cookbook, I decided to do my own version of this dish.  First, we didn’t have chicken, so we enjoyed a vegetarian dish (you can also add tofu, chicken, beef or shrimp).  Secondly, although the rice cakes sounded great- I just wanted some regular stir-fry.  Sounds like everyone had some fun making the rice cakes, so check out Mark’s original recipe on page 324.  I was going to add water chestnuts, which I forgot about- so definitely add that into yours.

Veggie Stir Fry
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original
Servings: 4

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp stir fry oil
1 large onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cup snow peas, halved or quartered
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook rice per package instruction.  The cooked rice should yield about 2 cups.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp stir fry oil in a skillet.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and carrots- cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Then, add in the ginger and broccoli, cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, add in the snow peas, jalapeño, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 tbsp stir fry oil, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook all of these ingredients, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t want your broccoli or snow peas to be crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the rice on the plate, add the stir fry veggies.  Then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.  Serve with some chopsticks!

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Food Matters Project #24: Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Can you believe that the Food Matters Project has been going on for over 6 months?  Yikes, how time flies when you’re trying out delicious recipes!  If you haven’t been with us on this blog for that long, here’s a little recap:

The Food Matters Project is made up of a group of bloggers (there are so many of us) who are interested in making recipes from the Food Matter Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  Each week one blogger is the “host” and chooses a recipe- and we all make it.  The Food Matters Cookbook is very open to interpretation, therefore making it perfect for this project- all of you should check out what each blogger made.  See what recipes Fifth Floor Kitchen has made here.     

This weeks host is Alyssa, of Everyday Maven.  She had chosen Mark Bittman’s recipe for Summer Rolls in Peanut Sauce.  Check out Alyssa’s recipe for the tofu version, and other Food Matters Project participants recipes.  This was a fabulous choice since it involved no cooking- which is perfect in mid-August.


I’m sure you’ve all had these garden rolls at many Asian restaurants, and you’ll find that they are very easy to make.  I love the fresh ingredients, and wanted to replicate the refreshing and light taste.

Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 96), A Chow Life, & A Cozy Kitchen
Servings: 9 + a little extra peanut sauce

Peanut Sauce:
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup roasted nuts
5 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Asian Rolls:
rice paper sheets
2 carrots, peeled & julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
1 jalapeño, julienned (optional)
20 sprigs of cilantro
2-3 leaves of mint

Add all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce into a food processor.  Process the ingredients until the sauce is smooth.  Pour into a bowl, it can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

To assemble the Asian Rolls fill a shallow, wide bowl with warm water.  Gently submerge each rice paper under water, keep it there for about 10 seconds- until the paper is soft.  Transfer the rice paper onto a slightly damp towel.  Working quickly, place the ingredients on the edge of the wrapper (a few julienned carrots, cucumbers and red pepper, a piece of jalapeño, 2 springs of cilantro, small piece of mint).  Fold the side in front of you over (away from you), turn in the sides, and then keep rolling away from you.  Repeat until you have used all of your ingredients.

Rice Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

How come some weekends are mellow, where you have nothing planned?  That was more or less last weekend- we sat on the roof and enjoyed fresh bruschetta and fresh bread.  This weekend is crazy busy: birthdays, going away parties, celebrations, races and dinners with friends!

When those hectic (but fun) weekends creep up, it’s great to have some food prepared and ready for you in the fridge.  This way, if you need something to eat or snack on, you don’t need to worry about the preparation.

 

This noodle dish I is perfect for those kids of hectic weekends or weekdays.  It can be prepared ahead, and it’s best served cold (which makes it even better for this warmer weather)!

Rice Noodles with Eggplant & Mango
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (April/May 2012)

Although I had found this recipe originally in Vegetarian Times, it’s actually an excerpt from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  I couldn’t get my hands on soba noodles, so we made it with rice noodles- equally delicious, and probably a little lighter.  This had fantastic flavors, and looked beautiful on a plate, perfect for a dinner party! 

1 1/2 large eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz rice noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 red chili peppers, chopped
1 inch cube ginger, grated
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 ripe mango, peeled, cut into thick strips
1 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup chopped basil

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spread the eggplant cubes onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Using your hands, spread the olive oil and spices onto all eggplant pieces.  Roast eggplant at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  With salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Once baked, allow to cool and set aside in a large bowl.

Cook the rice noodles according to package.  Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water.  Drain, and set aside in the large bowl with the eggplant.

In a saucepan, heat the sesame oil.  Then add garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce.

In a saucepan heat sesame oil.  Then add: garlic, red chili peppers, ginger, sugar, rice vinegary, soy sauce.  Cook on low until the mixture thickens.  Add into the large bowl with the noodles and eggplant.

Lastly, add in the mango, cilantro and bail.  Toss all ingredients together.  Allow to chill in the fridge before serving.

Food Matters Project #5: Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms

Yes, it’s another post for the Food Matters Project.  This weeks recipe was chosen by Dominica of Wine Food Love.  She chose Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce, it can be found on page 479 in The Food Matters Cookbook.

As with almost every recipe which can be found in this book, Mark Bittman gives some ideas on different variations for this recipe.  He suggests tossing the ingredients (bean sprouts, beef, scallions and sesame seeds) with soba noodles, rice or quinoa.

From first glance I knew I didn’t want to use beef for this recipe, this past week we’ve had more meat than usual, and I wanted more veggies.  When I gave the choice of mushrooms or tofu to Sam, he went with the mushrooms.  Then he mentioned he’s not a fan of orange sauce.   So I was thinking about soy-based sauces that include sesame seeds, garlic and ginger.  Lastly, we’ve a number of noodle dishes in the last weeks for the Food Matters Project, so I decided to not include any noodles and make this a very vegetarian dish.

It took me less than 30 minutes to make this, so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.  Tofu, chicken, beef or tempeh can be used as a substitute for the mushrooms.  If you have a favorite asian sauce, feel free to swap that here.  If you’d like more of a crunch, feel free to add some chopped peanuts or cashews.  Lastly, different vegetables can be added: broccoli, snap peas, or even edamame are just a start.  On a last note, I found that this dish tastes great cold- so no need for reheating.

Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 479)
Servings: 2-3 portions

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
4 mushrooms caps, cut into long strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp ginger, grated
3 tbsp sesame oil
16 oz bean sprouts
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sriracha (optional)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp honey
5 green onions, chopped

Heat up a skillet, once the bottom is slightly warm, add the sesame seeds.  Allow them to toast, while shaking the pan often.  Don’t allow them to burn, once they are brown (3-5 minutes) them remove them from the pan and put them aside.

Heat up the skillet once again, when it’s warm add the butter and allow it to melt.  As it’s melting, add the onion, mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves and 1 tbsp ginger.  Allow this mixture to sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are browned.  Once they are cooked, remove the ingredients from the pan and leave them in a separate bowl.

Next, add 2 tbsp of sesame oil into the same skillet.  Allow the oil to heat up a bit and then toss in the bean sprouts.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper.  Allow the bean sprouts to sear, and every couple of minutes move them around and flip some over.  I continued to cook the bean sprouts until the ends started to brown, and the sprouts had a crunchy texture to them (I tasted them every so often).  It took about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Once they are crisp to your liking, then place them on a napkin, so some of the oil will soak out.

In a bowl, or dressing container, mix together: 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp ginger, honey and 1 tbsp sesame oil.  Shake or whisk together all of the ingredients.

Divide the bean sprouts among plates.  Then sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top.  Next, spread out the mushroom mixture on top of the dish.  Then drizzle some of the dressing onto the plate- the amount depends on what you prefer; I think I used about 2-3 tbsp.  Lastly, sprinkle the top with the green onions.

Asian Noodle Bowl

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  I’m sure you’re all stuffed with turkey and pumpkin pie- and need something different to eat.

This is something very filling but does not overstuff.  The great part about this noodle bowl is that everyone can pick and choose the vegetables that they would like.  For example, we had carrots, bok choy, cucumbers and green onions.  If you’d like to add mushrooms or take out one of the other veggies- feel free.  In addition, if you don’t want tofu- you can add a meat or make it meat free.  If you make this dish- I’d love to know your favorite ingredients!

Asian Noodle Bowl
Adapted from: Dana Treat
Servings: 4-5 dinner portions

2 inch piece of ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks of lemongrass, minced (outer layers removed)
6 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp stir fry oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
12 oz tofu, blotted dry, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz soba noodles (or other Asian noodles)
3 green onions, chopped
1 cucumber, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups broth (veggie or chicken)
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 baby bok choys, roughly chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, halved

To prepare the marinade for the tofu mix the following ingredients in a bowl: ginger, garlic, lemongrass, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, stir fry oil, water and red pepper flakes.  Feel free to add more, or less, of each ingredient.  Mix together all of the ingredients.

Spread tofu pieces in a shallow baking dish.  Pour 3/4 of the marinade over the tofu.  Leave the tofu in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375°F, and bake the tofu for about 30-40 minutes.  Flip the tofu pieces after about 15 minutes of baking.

Prepare soba noodles (or other Asian noodles) per the directions on the box.  Once the noodles are cooked, rinse then with cold water.  Drain well, and divide between your bowls.

Top the noodles with green onions, cucumbers and tomatoes.

In a large pot, heat up broth.  While it’s heating up, add the carrot sticks.  Once the broth is boiling, toss in the bok choy.  Turn off the heat, and let the liquid cool for about 3 minutes.

Add the baked tofu into each of your bowls, then add carrots, bok choy and cherry tomatoes.  Last, pour the broth and left over marinade over the noodles and vegetables.