Minced Lotus Root & Mushroom Noodle Bowl
Over the past few days the temperatures have been frigid cold and we got couple of inches of snow today, it was a perfect day to stay in and eat something comforting. A bowl of Dan Dan Noodles from Han Dynasty would’ve been ideal to beat the cold but of course since that wasn’t going to happen, I had to take it upon myself to make something even remotely close.
Of course this bowl of noodles doesn’t taste anything like those Dan Dan Noodles but its indeed very soul satisfying. Cooking with asian flavors is so much fun, there are many elements to play around with (just like Indian food) and noodles are very versatile. I stumbled upon Korean sweet potato noodles while browsing the aisles of a local asian supermarket, the ingredient list on the package is very simple – sweet potato starch and water. I always have them at hand and try to cook different variations of these each time I crave carb-rich foods.
I also had some lotus root in the fridge, that was boiled the day before to make burgers, but instead I combined them with mushrooms for the noodles. You could use lotus root that’s not pre-boiled for this recipe but that will increase the cooking time.
I first soaked the noodles in water prior to boiling, it makes them softer. This step is not necessary but helps lowering the cooking time. These sweet potato noodles are grey in color and look almost like glass noodles.
After boiling the noodles strain and rinse with cold water. At this point I also cut them with scissors since they are very long and difficult to eat otherwise.
For the topping, finely chop the boiled lotus root, white button mushrooms (shiitake would work well too), green or red pepper, a small shallot, fresh ginger and dry red chilies.
I then stir fried this in a wok with some oil, coconut aminos (I use this in place of soy sauce since I’m allergic to soy) and black pepper. I literally used the wok, a cutting board and knife for this recipe. Boiled noodles in the wok while I cut vegetables, stir fried veggies in the same wok and made the sauce right after. Which meant fewer dishes to clean, score!
These are the condiments for the sauce, I always have them in my pantry and use them very often:
Coconut Aminos Garlic Sauce – This is almost like garlic flavored soy sauce, it adds great flavor and I’ve used it to several times to make chicken in garlic sauce. Goes very well with Salmon too.
Ume Plum Vinegar – This is brine from umeboshi (pickled ume plums and red shiso which is beefsteak leaf). This has a tart and naturally salty taste. You an also just use rice vinegar if that’s what’s readily available.
Agave – I like that hint of sweet in Asian recipes to balance the flavors. I usually bake with agave so its always in the pantry, you can use sugar, honey or any other sweeter instead.
Sambal Oelek Chili Paste – Ideally I would like to make my own chili paste but let’s be practical, this is easily available in all grocery stores. You can basically use any chili paste.
I also added fresh scallions and garlic to the sauce and thickened it with an arrowroot slurry.
This recipe is not as elaborate as it might seem, it just looks like a lot of elements but is very easy to put together. I also toasted some cashews in the microwave to add that crunchy texture.
First top the noodles with the lotus root-mushroom sir fry.
Then add the sauce, top with cashews, scallion greens and fresh cilantro. Mix and enjoy, every bite feels like a party in the mouth, tons of flavor – sweet, sour, spicy and umami!
- 1 Bunch of Sweet Potato Noodles
- Water to soak and boil
- Pinch of Salt
- Few drops of oil or ghee
- 1 Cup Lotus root, boiled and finely cut
- 1 Cup White button mushrooms (or shiitake), finely cut
- 1/2 Green pepper, finely cut
- 1 Shallot, finely cut
- 1/2 inch Ginger - finely cut
- 1 Tbsp Coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 Tsp Ground black pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp Oil or ghee
- 2 Dry red chilies
- 1/2 Tbsp Oil or ghee
- 2 Pods of crushed garlic
- 3 Scallions, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tbsp Garlic coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp Ume plum vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Chili paste
- 1 Tsp Agave
- 1.5 Tsp Arrowroot flour (or corn flour)
- 1.5 Cups water
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tsp Hot sesame oil
- 1/4 Cup Toasted cashews
- Scallion greens
- Fresh cilantro
- Soak the noodles in water for few minutes to make them soft.
- Boil water in a wok and add the noodles.
- Add salt and few drops of oil.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Once the noodles are ready, strain and rinse with cold water. Set it aside.
- Heat oil in a wok, add oil, dry red chilies and ginger and fry.
- Then add the shallots, fry for a minute and add the mushrooms. Keep stirring and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the lotus root and green pepper, stir for 2 minutes, then add coconut aminos and black pepper.
- Cook for few minutes and set aside.
- In the same wok, heat oil, add garlic, scallions and fry for a minute.
- Add the chili paste, garlic coconut aminos, ume plum vinegar, agave and mix.
- Then add 1.5 cups of water and stir.
- Once this comes to boil add the arrowroot slurry and stir.
- Taste to check if additional salt is needed.
- Put the noodles in a serving bowl, top with the stir fry and the sauce.
- Then add the toasted cashews, some scallion greens, cilantro and hot sesame oil.