For a lot of people, it’s a blasphemy to make stir-fried noodle without any meat. Who will disagree? After all, it’s one of the biggest contributors of flavors and juice. But what if we tell you it’s all a myth of the past? Oh indeed it is! The rise in the number of health-conscious individuals and the widespread awareness on vegetarian and vegan options have given birth to innovative recipes. Here, we’ll show you how to make Stir Fry Noodles Vegetarian without worrying about not having an equally great eating experience.
The basic recipe
It’s a fact that making stir fry noodles – whether it is the typical Oriental recipe or a vegetarian version – is uncomplicated. Yes, the mise en place, cutting of ingredients, and whatnots may be arduous but the rest is just a walk in the park. The following details out a basic recipe for Stir Fry Noodles Vegetarian. Note that this is the simplest, most unassuming form of the recipe. We’ll share tips and hacks later on how to shrewdly tweak it.
- 200 grams of noodles
- 1 piece red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1-2 cups of assorted chopped vegetables
- ¼ cup of cubed or sliced meat alternative
- Salt and pepper
- Chosen sauce
- Prepare the noodles based on the instructions indicated on the packaging. Typically, these are soaked in water until soft and tender. As for other types, some noodles require drenching in boiling water.
- Meanwhile, heat cooking oil on a skillet at medium heat.
- Sauté garlic until browned. Cook onions next until they turn a vivid color of purple.
- Add the meat alternative and pan fry until it’s cooked well.
- Toss the vegetables in the pan and cook until bright and tender. Turn off the heat.
- On another pan, add sauce and bring to boil.
- Add noodles until only a few sauce is left and much is absorbed. Turn off the heat.
- Add stir fry vegetables unto the noodles and mix until it’s blended well.
This recipe was made intentionally general because there are a hundred ways to jazz it up which we’ll describe later on. Despite innovations, most – if not all – recipes are based on this technique.
Options for noodles
There are a lot of noodles you can choose from. For some vegetarians, they consider egg-based noodles acceptable especially for ovo-vegetarians. They’re perfect for this dish because of the flavour it contributes. You can use Hokkien noodles, ramen noodles, and of course, the widely used Chinese egg noodles. But nonetheless, if you’re strictly following a vegan diet, you still have options. Rice stick noodles or mungbean thread noodles will be excellent choices for a stir fry dish. As their names suggest, they are plant-based and thankfully, they turn out exceptionally delicious even with the absence of egg. Shirataki noodles are becoming widely sought-after because this mushroom-based item makes a healthful dish packed with fiber.
Choice of vegetables
There is practically no restrictions for Stir Fry Noodles Vegetarian dish when it comes to any food item of plant-origin. If you are craving for an oriental vibe, you can use a mix of snow peas, shredded carrots, cabbage slices, bok choi, and bell pepper. Use herbs that will give it a splash of flavors such as spring onions, celery, coriander, and cilantro.
For a more Mediterranean feel, we’ve seen dishes loaded up with broccoli, green beans, cherry tomatoes. Julienned carrots and bell pepper are favorites on either styles of stir fry recipe so we recommend these as well. Basil, coriander, and cilantro will definitely pop the zest of your noodles.
Smart alternatives to meat
Since we’re recreating a typical noodle dish for our vegetarian guests, your resourceful mind needs to be at work to come up with an equally good substitute. Your best bet would be tofu. It’s best when it’s fried because it gives the additional crunch. Others also love using tempeh because its texture really mimics that of meat and it has a higher protein and fiber content. But let us warn you that when it’s your first time to try it, be prepared for a pungent eat fest. If you can’t stand it, another option for a meat-like mouthfeel would be textured vegetable protein. They are soy-based, protein-dense food items that come either in chunks, strips, or whatever resembling the face of an actual animal meat.
Mushrooms are also a popular nutritious meat replacement. While it’s not loaded with as much protein as meat or soy-based product, it is a delicious alternative. Portobello mushrooms are quite a popular choice because they are chunky and they can fill an empty stomach. If you feel your dish is still lacking in protein, feel free to throw in some chopped nuts or legumes. We go for edamame not only because it’s nutrient dense but also it adds an additional vibrant touch to your food.
Use of flavors to spice it up
What will really make your dish stand out among the others is the sauce. The most common and most Asian of all is to use soy sauce as base. There’s a lot to love about the conventional sauce made of soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, oyster sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. If you’d like it to be spicier, a squeeze or two of chili paste will do the trick. If not, match it with calamansi or lemon juice for additional zest.
Some non-traditional yet very tasty renditions of stir fry pasta make use of coconut milk. Cooking the noodles on it and allowing it to absorb the flavors will give your stir fry dish a whole new delicious identity. We’ve also seen other revamping ideas of this that make use of curry. The outcome? An irresistibly piquant stir fry noodle dish. The flavors are so strong you won’t even notice it’s lacking the meat’s juiciness.
Who says something healthful can’t be delicious? The sauce may do the trick but remember to keep it steady as you may not want to end up having high sodium levels later on. We hope these creative hacks will give you ideas on how to light up your vegetarian stir fry noodles.