I’ve spent the last few weeks testing and tweaking a cookie recipe, which you may have seen pop up on my Instagram a couple of times, only to still not be quite satisfied with the result. More tweaking, and more cookies needed! The good thing about blogging about food is that these recipes generally become the evening’s meal (who wants to cook again after a day of cooking?), and the bad thing about blogging is that these recipes generally become the evening’s meal..! So when you are testing sweet recipes you end up eating a lot of baked goods, which is both delicious and not quite as nutritious as those week’s you’re testing savouries. This is one of the reasons I mostly stick to savouries on this blog (the other reason is that I love cooking savouries!). So, whilst the cookies still need work, here’s the other, less decadent meal that is in high rotation in our house (though one could argue its decadence, I’m sure!). By high rotation I mean that I easily make these Satay Vermicelli Noodle Bowls once a week!
Made with peanut butter, and possibly half the ingredients of a traditional recipe, this is my cheat’s satay sauce. Totally morish and a cinch to pull together, it requires minimal stove time and is very adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand. I’ve served it here with vermicelli noodles and panfried tofu, but you could go the steamed baby potatoes, tempeh and boiled egg (if you eat them) route like a traditional Indonesian Gado Gado. I really love the vermicelli, because they cook so quickly and are both light and filling. This satay sauce is also delicious in rice paper rolls… My favourite too-hot-to-cook food.
Satay Vermicelli Noodle Bowls (or: cheat's gado gado)
You could go the traditional Gado Gado route and serve this satay with steamed baby potatoes, tempeh and boiled egg (if you eat them), instead of the noodles and tofu. This is such a flexible dish, a selection of most types of cooked and raw veggies will work here. Choose a peanut butter that is close to 100% peanuts, and preferably unsalted (or you may like to use a little less tamari). I’ve successfully used almond butter in place of peanut butter here.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
145g | 1 medium onion, roughly diced
1 tbls coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
30g | thumb sized piece of ginger root, grated
120g | 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (I use unsalted) ***
270ml coconut cream (from a tin)
2 tbls tamari (or soy sauce)
1.5 tbls coconut sugar
Juice of 1 lime or 2 tbls lemon juice
250g firm tofu, halved diagonally and cut into 1cm slices to make triangles
1 tbls coconut oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
180g vermicelli noodles
150g asparagus, trimmed and halved
150g green beans, trimmed
100g sugar snap or snow peas, vein removed
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 large carrot, grated or ribboned
Basil or other herbs, torn
Roasted peanuts and sesame seeds, to serve (optional)
Make the satay sauce: In a pan over medium heat, fry the onion in the coconut oil for 4-5 minutes till starting to soften and colour. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute more till fragrant. Add the peanut butter and coconut cream and stir continuously until combined and a beige colour – it will thicken very quickly, so once combined remove from heat. Add the tamari, sugar and lime juice, taste and adjust quantities if desired. Season with plenty of black pepper and set aside.
Make the noodle bowls: Use a tea towel to blot your tofu of any access moisture. Over high heat in a thick bottomed frypan, fry the tofu in the coconut oil on one side for 3-4 minutes till crisp and golden (leave the pieces and don’t move them around to ensure a intact crust), then flip the pieces with a metal spatula and cook for a further 2-3 minutes till crisp. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and set aside.
Cook the vermicelli noodles as per packet instructions (I cook them in the water below the steaming veggies to save on washing up).
Steam the asparagus and green beans for 2-3 minutes till bright green but still crisp, adding the sugar snap peas for the last 30 seconds.
Serve all components in separate bowls for everyone to make their own bowls – I like to serve the hot satay at the table to allow people to add as much as they’d like.
Any noodle bowl leftovers can be stored airtight refrigerated for up to 3 days. Store any leftover satay airtight refrigerated for up to 5 days. Due to the coconut cream, your satay will thicken up substantially in the fridge and will need to add a little water to thin it out upon reheating – for this reason it’s best to store leftover noodles and satay separately.
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