I know it’s been a while… I’m currently on fieldwork and it’s hard to cook in the field, so I’ll leave you with this quick lunch recipe I make all the time. It’s foolproof!
A healthy lunch in fifteen minutes or less:
- One portion of your favorite no-boil rice noodles (I like the thicker kind)
- A handful of your favorite Asian-food-friendly vegetable; I usually do bok choy or broccoli
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- One portion of your favorite protein, cubed or cut into bite-sized pieces; here I’ve used tofu, and that’s the quickest way, since it doesn’t have to cook through–if you do go with tofu, get the extra-firm variety, since it will fry without falling apart
- 2 tbsp brown miso paste (this is less salty than the white kind)
- About 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- Toasted sesame oil, for frying
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
First, heat some water according to the instructions on your noodle box. Mine were supposed to soak for about 4 minutes, but I under-cooked them slightly so they’d be a bit crispy in the pan. Soak the noodles until they acquire the texture you want. If you haven’t done so already, you can chop your raw ingredients while your noodles soak. Once the noodles are done, drain them and put them aside.
Next, add the veggie, garlic, and protein to your frying pan with a splash of toasted sesame oil (if you don’t have this type of oil, I’m sure that you’ll get by just fine with another kind). On medium heat, cook the raw stuff for about a minute while stirring things around with a wooden spoon. Then add the miso paste and maple syrup (you may want to add more of either of these–just give it a taste when it gets going, and see if it needs to be saltier or sweeter). Stir until everything is coated evenly, and turn the heat down to low.
When the sauce has thickened (or, if you’re using a meat instead of tofu, once it’s fully cooked), add your noodles to the pan and stir them in with the rest. Turn the heat up a bit and cook the whole mix for a minute or two more. That’s it! Top with red pepper flakes for added heat. This is also a fantastic vehicle for sriracha, and it keeps really well in a mason jar on the way to work. I’ve also done it without the noodles when I want something a bit lighter!