Mid-week cooking with a tasty meatless noodle stir-fry
The notion of ‘desperate dinner‘ in this blog article amuses me. I think most of us agree that mid-week cooking can become a chore, boring one I mean. For me, it´s been hard trying to get enough motivation to cook at home almost everyday. I wonder how my mom coped in the past, cooking, raising two kids, doing her PhD and working at the same time? Mind you we did not have any home help back then either. She´s truly an incredible woman. Our meals were simple yet very healthy, all thanks to mom.
I feel like starting a new habit of documenting some of my mid-week meals on this blog. Besides all the more elaborated dishes I love to do when time is available. I am not sure how long this will last. Let´s see. And I am not entirely good you know? If cooking becomes too much, I normally just jump to Chinatown and grab something quick. But with my sister living here, the responsibility has increasesd and so has my efforts for dinner. Well, at least I do not have to wash the dishes. That’s a bonus.
The recipe for today is one of my favourite way of cooking tempeh. I have never been a big fan of tempeh (fermented soya beans) until I discover a tip recently. Marinade it well and the flavour is much more agreeable. Then you can toss it through anything, like I did with this Southeast Asian inspired spicy stir-fry noodles.
Chinese whole-wheat noodles are chosen here, but of course other types of noodles (thin egg or hokien varieties, even thin spaghetti if you wish) can be substituted. Seasonal vegs (whatever you have in the fridge) can be used and substituted freely. Oh, the eggplant is really nice in this dish so try to use it if you can. Korean pepper paste can be found in most Asian stores.
Ingredients (for 2 servings). Adjust the pepper paste if you don’t like it hot.
150g tempeh, cut into thin strip
1 /2 tbp soy sauce
½ tbp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis )
150g whole-wheat noodles, cook as per packet direction
2 tbp light flavoured oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1tsp minced lemongrass (I used the frozen one)
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into strips
1 small Asian eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1 lime leaf, sliced thinly (I freeze the bag of lime leaves)
1 tbp Korean hot pepper paste (Can be substituted with sweet chili sauce. if this is the case, do not use sweet soy sauce for seasoning)
1-2 tsp soy sauce (or to taste)
Sweet soy sauce, to taste
1. Marinade the tempeh with two soy sauce for at least 30 mins.
2. Cook the noodles as per package direction, drain well. Keep some cooking liquid around.
3. Heat 1 tbp oil in a wok. Quickly fry the tempeh strip until crsip. Take out and set aside.
4. In the same wok, heat another tbp of oil. Put in garlic& lemongrass.. Stir until fragrant. Now add in your eggplant first. Cook a bit (2 mins) then toss in the rest of the veg. If the mixture is a bit too dry, add in a few tablespoons of hot water (from boiling the noodles). Cotinue to stir until the vegs are cooked but still have some crunchy bite. Toss through the noodles, lime leaf and the tempeh. Add in extra soy sauce, pepper paste and sweet soy sauce to taste. Dish out and serve immediately.