Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

This is what we’ve been in the mood for lately:

Chilled Japanese Noodles in Dipping Sauce

It’s our version of chilled somen noodles. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and perfect for a hot summer day.

Chilled Japanese Noodles in Dipping Broth

This dish consists of three basic components: noodles, broth, and garnishes.


Traditional somen noodles are made from wheat, so I substituted rice noodles. Annie Chun’s Pad Thai noodles turned out to be the perfect width and texture.

  • Cook the noodles according to directions on box, rinse in cold water, and drain. (These noodles can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated–just run them under cold water before serving.)

Dipping Broth*

3-4 cups water

4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms

2-3 three-inch squares of dried kombu seaweed (You can find this in the Asian section of most grocery stores.)

1 tps sea salt

1 carrot cut into sticks

(As always, measurements are approximate. )

  • Rinse shiitake mushrooms and kombu lightly under running water.
  • Add shiitake mushrooms, kombu, and carrots to water in a pot. Bring to boil.
  • Add salt.
  • Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until ingredients are very tender.
  • Remove from heat. When broth is no longer steaming, remove shiitake mushrooms, kombu, and carrots from the liquid and set aside to cool.
  • Strain the remaining liquid broth through a paper towel into a glass container. Chill in refrigerator. (This broth will keep for a day or so if refrigerated.)


You can choose one or all of the following as garnishes, according to your tastes:

Chopped scallions

Shredded lettuce

Shredded sushi seaweed

Grated daikon radish (I use a Japanese grater, which turns the daikon into a yummy slush.)

Roasted sesame seed

Shiso Fumi Furikake (perilla rice seasoning)

Cooked, chilled, and chopped leafy vegetables (I used some leftover Napa cabbage)

The ingredients cooked with the broth, sliced (carrots, shiitake mushrooms, kombu)**:

Serving & Eating

On a plate, arrange the chilled noodles with the garnishes you’ve chosen (except for the shredded sushi seaweed, grated daikon radish, and Shiso Fumi Furikake, which are best added directly to the broth just before eating).

Serve 1/2 cup or so of chilled broth in a small bowl.

To eat, simply dip a biteful or so of noodles and a few garnishes at a time in the bowl of broth. (Add a small amount of shredded sushi seaweed, grated daikon radish, or Shiso Fumi Furikake to the bowl too, if you chose to use any of these garnishes.)

This is one of my favorite summertime dishes. It’s healthy, refreshing, and as a bonus, the broth is rich in vitamins and minerals such as iodine and potassium.


* Made in a larger quantity and used hot, this is the same broth used for udon or soba noodles.

** These three ingredients can alternately be used as sushi fillings for another meal. Two birds, one stone!

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rice noodle salad

Our dear friends in London (Hello, M & G!) have requested some recipes on my blog, so I thought I’d start out with this simple warm weather favorite. A couple things you should know:

1. I don’t really use recipes or measure as I cook, and I use whatever ingredients happen to be on hand, so these “recipes” are meant to be altered to your heart’s content. Any measurements I include are really just general estimates – you’ll want to experiment and figure out the proportions for a salad that suits your taste buds.

2. We eat very simply around here–for good health and because of my many food allergies. If you’re used to heavy sauces, complex flavors, and such, you might find my dishes rather plain. I prefer to think of them as simple and refreshing. 🙂

Rice Noodle Salad


Rice noodles* (cooked, drained, and cooled according directions on package)

Lettuce (finely chopped)

Carrots (sliced into long ribbons with a peeler)

Baby bell peppers (cut into ringlets)

Cucumber (finely sliced)


1 part seasoned rice vinegar or lemon juice or lime juice

1 part sesame oil

Asian chili sauce**

roasted sesame seeds or ground sesame

optional: 1 Tbs Asian sweet dipping sauce to taste***

optional: 1 Tbs soy or wheat-free tamari sauce

Making this salad is simple. Mix the dressing in a separate bowl. Run half of the dressing through the drained noodles. Layer a platter or individual plates or bowls with seasoned noodles and the colorful vegetables. Pour the rest of the dressing over the salad. Serve layered, and toss just before eating. Enjoy!


* Experiment with brands and styles of rice noodles until you find one that doesn’t get gooey. I sometimes use Thai Kitchen rice noodles or China Bowl rice sticks.

** I sometimes use Lee Kum Kee Garlic chili sauce. With sauces, I recommend choosing one that doesn’t have artificial coloring or MSG.

*** I sometime use Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce.

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