I can’t lie, going predominately grain free – or embracing any new dietary disciplines for that matter – can be intimidating. It always seems to threaten you with the idea that you’ll never be able to eat your favorite foods again.
However, I can say that after being vegan for two and a half years, if there’s a will to mimic our favorite traditional dishes, there’s a way. Plus, they usually end up more creative, healthy, and delicious than the original versions.
I grew up eating Chinese takeout, which means noodles, glorious noodles! Should eating grain-free or gluten-free prevent you from slurping down bowls of savory noodles? Heck no! Firmly grip a pair of chopsticks and let’s get to cookin’ these 30 minute, toasted sesame noodz!
First off, we have to talk about noodle substitutes, and the best noodle for this job is konjac noodles, otherwise known as shirataki or “miracle” noodles. Shirataki noodles are made from shirataki yams, which are native to Japan, where they’ve been used for over a thousand years. They may seem like some sort of “health fad food,” but konjac noodles receive widespread use among many asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and China.
The noodles come in clear packages – keen to school lunch juice pouches – swimming in a limewater solution that’ll keep them shelf stable for up to a year. To cook the noodles, simply drain them from their brine, rinse in a mesh strainer, boil for 2 minutes, then toss in a hot dry pan for 2 minutes to rid them of any excess sliminess.
For a simple, classic flavor combination I seasoned my noodles with sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, garlic, tamari sauce, and vegan fish sauce, which is essentially seaweed broth. Seared tempeh, thinly shredded cabbage, and wedges of sweet onion accompany the noodles.
If there’s a dish you’ve always wanted to see veganized, submit it here, and we’ll head to the lab, break out the test tubes, and whip out our culinary gadgets, so that in a couple of weeks there’ll be a recipe dedicated all to you.
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Toasted Sesame Noodle Stir-Fry
Classically flavored, savory sesame noodles.
- 2 7-oz packets of angel hair shirataki noodles
- 3 oz tempeh, crumbled
- 1/2 sweet onion, cut into wedges
- 1/4 head small cabbage, thinly shredded
- 2 tbsp whole cilantro
- 2 tsp unrefined sesame oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp tamari sauce
- 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp vegan fish sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- sea salt
- Fill a medium sauce pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. While the water heats up, drain noodles and rinse them in a fine mesh strainer for 15 seconds. Place in boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a large wok or sauce pan over medium high heat. Once scorching hot, add sesame seeds and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until the seeds are lightly browned and fragrant. Evacuate seeds to a small bowl and set aside.
- Add drained noodles to the empty, hot wok or pan and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Add unrefined sesame oil to wok/pan, followed by onions, cabbage, tempeh, and a heavy pinch of salt. Cook over high heat, stirring several times every minute, until the onions begin to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes.
- Move the vegetables/tempeh to the side of the pan/wok and add toasted sesame oil to the middle of the vessel, followed by noodles and another pinch of salt. Cooking for 2 minutes, integrate noodles into veggies by pulling them apart with chopsticks then stirring them in.
- Add tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar, vegan fish sauce, garlic powder, cilantro, and 2 teaspoons of the toasted sesame seeds and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
- Divide among bowls, top with remaining sesame seeds, and enjoy while piping hot.