zucchini

15 minutes healthy noodle recipe - Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

I am a noodle person.  Maybe this is why it doesn’t bother me for living in Italy.  I also live real close to this organic supermarket called NaturaSí.  The shop sells practically everything you could possibly think of and most products are Fairtrade certified.  This is Italy’s largest supermarket chain specializing in the sales of organic food items while fully respecting the sustainability parameters.  The pricing is indeed slightly higher but I think it is justified by the high quality and authenticity of the products.  For those who practice a sustainable living in Italy, NaturaSí is certainly the ideal choice. 

What came to surprise me is that NaturaSí actually carries a lot of Japanese food produce.  So whenever I get a little homesick and long for fusion meals,  I can just pop by there to get some soba or rice noodles. 

Here are my extremely easy noodle recipe ideas for the busy bees! 

Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: less than 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb fresh asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces, julienned the stalk parts and leave the heads

1 garlic, finely chopped

1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 chili, finely chopped

1 radish, slivered *optional

1 tbsp mirin

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp sesame seeds

200g soba or mei fun (rice noodle)

sesame oil or extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Cook soba according to its packaging label.  After soba is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well.  Set aside.

2) Preheat a saucepan with 2-3 tbsp oil on medium-low heat, cook chopped garlic, spring onion, chilli, and ginger 1-2 minutes.  

3) Stir in asparagus and mirin.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  

4) Add water and soy sauce, put a lid on and let the vegetables cook 3-5 minutes.  

5) Add soba and mix well.  Season if necessary.  Heat off. 

6) Garnish with some sesame seeds, radish, chopped spring onion, and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving.  

Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

Stir Fry Veggies & Rice Noodle -- Here is the mei fun (rice noodle) version stir fry.  The steps are pretty much the same as the one before except I used zucchini instead of asparagus.   

Cold Veggies Soba - another extremely easy soba salad I like to make for cooling the steamy hot summer.  

Ingredients for dressing:

1/4 soy sauce

1/3 water

1 tsp minced garlic 

1 tsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tbsp mirin

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

1/4 lemon or 1/2 lime juice and zest

2-3 tbsp sesame oil 

extra-virgin olive oil

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

The holidays are coming.  I'm sure many of us have already started our holiday menu planning.  This dish is great as a starter.  It actually came to mind because I got some lettuce that I was desperate to get rid of.  Plus I didn't want to eat a salad that is made with lettuce for the next three days.  And I certainly don't want to put any of my food to waste.  

So I remember this delicious Thai dish that I used to love -- minced spicy pork with lettuce wrap.  I recall all those lettuce greens served on the side.  So this is a veggie version of that.  :) And this dish is another perfect leftovers recipe.  I think most meat eaters would love it too because the taste is just phenomenal plus it looks presentable. ;)  I highly recommend you to try making it.  

Happy Holidays! 

Love,

Cindy x

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

 

Servings: 2-4 persons

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 eggplant, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 cup corn

1 capsicum, diced

1 bunch string beans, chopped into small bits

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1-2 tbsp fish sauce* (optional) 

1 lime zest & 1/2 lime juice

1 tsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp thai basil pesto

1 bunch fresh lettuce leafs 

extra-virgin olive oil

Dipping Sauce Ingredients: 

1 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce* (optional) 

2 tbsp sesame oil 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 fresh lime juice 

1/2 chopped chilli

2 tbsp chopped spring onion or coriander 

Thai Basil Pesto Ingredients: 

1 bunch thai basil

1/2 green chilli and 1/2 red chilli 

1 garlic clove

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with olive oil on medium heat, cook eggplant for 3-5 minutes first.  Then add the chopped vegetables such as corn, beans, capsicums, and zucchini.  Cook for another 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Add a splash of fish sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.  

2) Add the chopped garlic, spring onion, ginger, and chilli.  Cook 3-5 minutes.  Add basil pesto and fresh lime juice and zest.  Season.  Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes more to allow all the flavors to come out.  Heat off.  Set aside. 

3) Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and garnish with some coriander if you like. I didn't have any so I skipped that. 

4) Serve this fragrant spicy veggies with some fresh lettuce leafs and the sweet and spicy dipping on the side.  Enjoy!

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

Fragrant Spicy Veggies with Lettuce Wrap

Cheesy Chinese Zucchini & Carrot Patties

I love making patties because that is one of the best ways to clear my leftovers in the fridge.  Once again, this recipe was inspired by Chef Gordon Ramsay.  In his original recipe, he used haloumi cheese.  I didn't have any haloumi at the time but I had some aged cheddar cheese sitting in the fridge so I used that instead.  Instead of using any imported courgettes, I used the local Chinese zucchini.  You can easily find them at most of the supermarkets and wet markets in Hong Kong.  

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it doesn't hurt the wallet yet the taste remains magnificent and the kids would love it.  These patties are great to impress guests for small gatherings as a starter.  Most importantly, you don't need to go out of your ways to get these simplest ingredients.  

Happy cooking! :) 

Love, 

Cindy x

The taste and texture of these patties are magnificent.  Anyone who doesn't like veggies would somehow end up loving these patties.  

Servings: 5 patties

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients for the patties: 

1 chinese zucchini, grated

1 carrot, grated

2 eggs, whisked

1.5 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 garlic glove, finely chopped

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1 handful fresh basil leaves * ( I used thai basil because that's what I found in the wet market), chopped

1/2 cup chopped spring onion

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Sprinkle some salt to the grated veggies and squeeze out any excess moisture.  Transfer the veggies to a large mixing bowl.  

2) Add garlic, cheese, fresh basil, spring onion, egg, and breadcrumbs.  Season.  Mix well.  

3) Form about 3cm thick patties with your hands and refrigerate the patties for about 20 minutes.  

4) Preheat a frying pan with a generous amount of olive oil on medium-low heat, cook each side of the patties for roughly 10-15 minutes until each side turns golden.  Reduce heat if necessary.  

5) Use a kitchen paper towel to soak up any excess oil.  Serve with the sweet and spicy sauce.  Recipe is below.  

In the original recipe, chef Gordon Ramsay used haloumi but I didm;t want to go to an international supermarket to get it so I just used some aged cheddar.  In fact, aged cheddar is a lot of cheaper so it's perfect if you are planning on a budget meal.  

Add garlic, cheese, fresh basil, spring onion, egg, and breadcrumbs.  Season.  Mix well.  

Form about 3cm thick patties with your hands and refrigerate the patties for about 20 minutes.  

Ingredients for the sweet and spicy sauce: 

1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 pinch salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 red chili, finely chopped

1/2 green chili, finely chopped

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 drizzle extra-virgin olive oil

1 handful chopped coriander

Instruction: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Serve with the patties.  

cheesy chinese zucchini and carrot patties with sweet and spicy sauce

cheesy chinese zucchini and carrot patties with sweet and spicy sauce - enjoy :)