Crisp Noodle Cake with Stir-Fried Greens and Shrimp

On Sunday garlicturino86 and I cooked a recipe in Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook, a collection of recipes designed to help people eat healthier (including a high ratio of vegetables to meat). The Crisp Noodle Cake with Stir-Fried Greens and Shrimp can be found on p. 236 and calls for an Asian green, rice/soba/wheat noodles, soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, shrimp (or tofu), scallions, and salt and pepper. According to Mr. Bittman it takes 45 minutes to prepare, but we disagree. This was our second time attempting the recipe and it still took us at least 90 minutes. His claim that the recipe makes four servings is accurate, however.

chopped scallions in a measuring cup, the cookbook, bok choy in the process of being cut

Allow extra time for chopping up the garlic, scallions, bok choy, etc.

We decided to use bok choy and soba noodles, both of which work extremely well for this recipe. The bok choy provides two very different textures: the stems come out crunchy and absorb the flavor well (especially from the ginger), while the leaves come out tender and mix extremely well with the noodles and shrimp. The soba noodles were rather sticky, but that characteristic made forming a cake a lot easier than it had been with the rice noodles we used on our first attempt. They also have a very distinctive, almost nutty taste and satisfying texture. We were extremely pleased with the results.

noodles in their original packaging

Before

fried noodle cake in a non-stick pan

After

The adventure came when we decided to make two noodle cakes, because we both love this recipe so much and don’t want to fight over left-overs. Making the cakes was relatively easy – once the bottom had browned, I put a plate on top and used that to flip it over, added more canola oil to the pan, then slid the cake back on. But we quickly found that one frying pan had no hope in hell of containing all of our bok choy! The stems alone filled the first pan. Thinking quickly, I grabbed a second pan, transferred half the contents of the first pan to it, and asked garlicturino86 to likewise divide our remaining ingredients.

two frying pans with leafy greens on the stove, one is being stirred

We needed to work at the stove simultaneously.

Once the “crisis” was averted, it was simply a manner of cooking down the greens and letting the shrimp turn a healthy shade of pink. Our doubled recipe made 8 servings, two of which were delicious that night. I’ve been enjoying my share of the leftovers as convenient, healthy meals.

bowl with stir-fried veggies, shrimp, and noodle cake

Buon Appetito!

In addition to enjoying the large serving of vegetables and wheat noodles featured in this recipe, women (or at least prepubescent girls) can reduce their risk of breast and cervical cancer by avoiding meat and milk from animals that have been treated with hormones. Please read “A Letter that All Chefs (and Anyone Who Eats) Need to Read” posted by Mark Bittman.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. garlicturino86
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 14:03:28

    If we haven’t talked up this recipe enough, this is one of those rare dishes that tastes just as good cold as it does hot. I thoroughly enjoyed both of the servings I took back with me this way.

    Reply

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