Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lucky Fuzhou Noodles with Sweet Snap Peas, Mushrooms and Lime Peanut Sauce

     Lucky Noodles!
     Vegetarian noodle recipes never go out of style, especially when Lucky Noodles are featured!  Sweet Peas and mushrooms are a nice flavor combination.  Southeast Asian style Peanut Sauce has just a hint of sweetness with a light fresh lime flavor.  Add it all up and the result is a tasty vegetarian noodle side dish that can be served as a light meal.
     Peanut Sauce is used in nearly every cultural cuisine in Southeast Asia.  This sauce is a mainstay accompaniment in Thai Satay cooking.  Peanut Sauce is often served with Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls.
     Key flavors in Peanut Sauce are palm sugar, lemon and lemongrass.   It is very easy to make Peanut Sauce, but it is more cost effective to purchase a bottle of pre-made Peanut Sauce in most cases.  Peanut Sauce is a standardized recipe with little variation, so if it is made from scratch, the result will be just like a bottled sauce.  A bottle of Peanut Sauce is a nice convenience for those who are on the go.
     Fouzhou Noodles are a specialty of Fuzhou, China.  Fuzhou Noodles are very delicate and they are as thin as a thread.  They take less than a minute to cook and they have a very light lye flavor.  Lye water is used to make these noodles.
     Fouzhou Noodles can be found in Asian food markets.  The dry noodles are separated into portion sized bundles that are tied with a thread.  The best thing about Fouzhou Noodles is that they have a reputation of bringing good luck and long life to those who eat them.  Lucky Fouzhou noodles are a great choice for a New Years celebration.  One simply cannot go wrong by eating Lucky Noodles on New Years Day!
     Lucky Fuzhou Noodles with Sweet Snap Peas, Mushrooms and Lime Peanut Sauce: 
     This recipe yields 1 noodle side dish that can be served as a lunch portion.
     All of the ingredients must be prepared ahead of time because this recipe is prepared in a matter of minutes.  
     Shocking the cooked Fuzhou noodles in ice water is traditional and it is an option.  Shocking adds a chewy firm texture to noodles.  Sometimes a soft noodle is preferred.  For soft texture noodles, do not shock the noodles in ice water.
     Step 1:  Keep a pot of water boiling, so the noodles can be cooked later in the recipe.
     Step 2:  Heat a mini wok or sauté pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Sauté for a few seconds, so the garlic and ginger becomes aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add about 14 trimmed sweet snap peas.
     Add 3 sliced button cave mushrooms.
     Add 2 green onions that are cut into bias sliced large bite size pieces.
     Stir fry the vegetables till they are cooked al dente.
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.
     Add 1 pinch of Chinese five spice powder.
     Add sea salt.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Thai Peanut Sauce.  (Bottled Thai Peanut Sauce is fine for this recipe.)
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 5:  Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat
     Step 6:  Drop 1 portion of dried Fouzhou Noodles in the pot of boiling water.  (The Fouzhou Noodles take less than a minute to cook.)
     Drain the water off of the cooked noodles by pouring them into a large fine mesh strainer.
     Step 7:  Add the cooked noodles to the sauce and vegetables.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 8:  Place the noodles and vegetables on a serving plate.
     Garnish with a slice of lime.
     The addition of lime juice adds to Peanut Sauce adds a refreshing flavor.  As long as only just enough sauce is made to coat the noodles with flavor, the taste of the sauce will not be overbearing.

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