Sarah and I are on an Asian kick lately, so I invited her over for an experimentation recipe and wine night.
At the store, purchase:
- 1 12 oz. package of Lo Mein noodles
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 green onions
- 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 8 oz. snow peas
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. ginger
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 1 Thai Kitchen Lemongrass & Chili soup packet
Begin by cooking the Lo Mein noodles according the the package. Be sure to rinse them in cold water or they will keep cooking to a mushy sticky state in the strainer.
While the noodles are cooking, chop up your veggies. Think stir fry, so slice them in thin strips. For the green onions, set aside the dark green tops for garnish later.
In a Wok, or large skillet, cover the sides in olive oil cooking spray and turn the heat on to medium low. Toss together mushrooms, garlic, ginger and onions, stirring constantly to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Heat these until the garlic and ginger become arromatic and the mushrooms soften, about two minutes.
Next, add in the coconut milk. My mom only bought one can of coconut milk, so we improvised with a tablespoon of honey and milk for the second can.
Also, add in the silver packet included in the Thai Kitchen soup packet. This contains the lemongrass spices and chili. I was going to use lemongrass paste, but three stores later, I was still empty handed. Heat the liquid until it is warm, approximately 2-4 minutes.
Now you can add in the snow peas and red pepper. This keeps the vegetables crunchy, but if you like all the vegetables evenly cooked, put the snow peas and red pepper in when you throw together the mushrooms, onions, garlic and ginger.
Also, toss the noodles around in the spiced coconut milk mix. Heat until the dish is hot and cooked through to your desire.
To serve, sprinkle cashews, green onion tops and sriracha (rooster) hot sauce on top of each bowl.
Even my mother, the not-so-spicy lover, said the dish isn’t complete without sriracha. It adds that extra heat but also a heavier garlic and chili flavor. The lemongrass and coconut milk was an odd combo, but it grew on me. With every bite of vegetable and noodle, the alfredo sauce-like gravy squishes out adding a sweet, condensed flavor, slightly spicy and rustic from the chili and twangy from the lemongrass.
The vegetables had varying textures and levels of cooking, which made the dish’s composition all the more colorul. The snow peas and red pepper would make a distinct crunch that I’m sure Sarah could hear across the room and over Big Bang Theory counteracting the soft, stringy noodles slipping easily between the creamy sauce and slippery mushrooms. We finished the entire Wok between the three of us with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.