Monday, 16 February 2015

Rocket & Roses Black Noodle, Vegetable & Enoki Soup (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd ~ A Little Bit More
Thunder ~ Gimme Some Lover
Dixie Chicks ~ I Hope
The Eagles ~ New Kid In Town
Mozart: Serenade #10 in B Flat 'Gran Partita'
Doris Day ~ Love Somebody
Mr Buble ~ Stardust
The Fratellis ~ Rock & Roll Will Break Your Heart
Foo Fighters ~ Halo
Mr Stewart ~ All For Love
Bill Withers ~ Ain't No Sunshine
Jose Carreras ~ Giordano: Andrea Chenier: L'Improvviso
Foo Fighters ~ Cold Day In The Sun
Mike Patton ~ Ore D'Amore

Whilst I've been on the serious 'rest' orders recently I've taken the time to research the hell out of my interest in Japanese cuisine. I am fascinated by it and looking forward to making many of the recipes I've found and creating many of my own. The world of sushi, ramen and gyoza have taken me captive...and shouldn't have to say this..but all vegan, eh?

Today's recipe is one of mine that I threw together with the help of my good pal Ann. I was excited because I had managed to track down some Enoki mushrooms. As you folks know that I am not a fan of the 'shroom. But Enoki mushrooms are quite unique and looked like a mushroom I could get along with. This is by no means a ramen noodle soup as I haven't attempted that as yet. When I do I want it to be just right. I wanted a good savoury broth and good textured noodles and a soup packed with many textures. 

I chose black rice noodles which are both vegan and gluten-free and if cooked quickly and then rinsed in ice cold water keep their texture very well. I started the broth with my holy trinity of fresh garlic, ginger and red chilli in a tiny amount of rapeseed (canola) oil. Then added freshly boiled filtered water and the broth flavourings; vegan oyster sauce, rice mirin, Braggs (or light soy), sesame oil and a scant amount of brown sugar/stevia blend. In all honesty its the amount of sugar that is used in Japanese, Chinese and Korean food that I am struggling with during this challenge. I cannot have a lot of sugar in my food so I am forced to find a happy medium and so far the brown sugar/stevia blend is working...just.

Once I had a good flavoured simmering stock we got chopping and prepping the fresh vegetables I'd selected. Presentation is one of the aspects of Japanese cuisine that I love and so made some carrot and red pepper flowers. The carrot flowers were added before any of the other veggies as they take slightly longer to cook. The black rice noodles were cooked and rinsed and portioned out into the two serving bowls. The remaining veggies except for the Enoki mushrooms were plunged into the broth and cooked for 8 minutes until just tender. I still wanted a good crispness to some of the veggies. I used a slotted spoon to drain off veggies from the broth into the awaiting bowls and then placed the trimmed and rinsed Enoki mushrooms into the broth and let them simmer for 2 minutes and then placed them on top of the veggies and noodles and then ladled the broth over the top. Finally scattering with fresh coriander leaves. 

We sat down with our noodle soups and slurped and munched our way through every mouthful. The flavours were so intense and the textures perfectly varied. The noodles kept their texture and provided great comfort. (Is it only me that gets that whole noodle comfort? No?..phew!) We had a particularly potent chilli that day and it was true to say it helped clean out our passages and by the end of the meal we were breathing easily. This soup had a great heat to it from the chilli and ginger but also a good savoury base from the broth. We really enjoyed every mouthful and I cannot wait to get started on the traditional (well a vegan version) ramen bowls and not the mass processed and produced kind. Freshness of ingredients is the key...

Rocket & Roses Black Noodle, Vegetable & Enoki Soup (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Black Noodle, Vegetable & Enoki Soup 
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tsp rapeseed/canola oil (optional)
2 garlic cloves, micro-grated
2" fresh ginger, micro-grated
1/2 red chilli, sliced 
4 spring onions, minced 
1 1/2 litres freshly boiled filtered water
1/2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
1 tbsp rice mirin
1 1/2 tbsp Braggs (or soy sauce or Tamari)
3/4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar/stevia blend 

2 carrots, peeled, one noodled and one cut into coins and 6 flower shapes cut out 
15 mangetout, trimmed and sliced in half on the diagonal
6 red radish, trimmed and sliced
3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
5" mooli/diakon, peeled and cut into thick julienne
1 red bell pepper, trimmed, flattened & 6 flower shapes cut
1/4 cup Enoki mushrooms, trimmed and rinsed well
handful fresh coriander, chopped retaining a few whole leaves for garnish

2oz seasoned tofu pieces, chopped into fine dice

black rice noodles, 2 servings, cooked as per packet instructions, cooled and set to one side

Using two individual servings bowls distribute the black noodles between the two. Set to one side. 

Add the garlic, ginger, red chilli slices into a saucepan with the oil and gently heat through until the trinity are fragrant. Add the minced spring onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Add in the broth seasonings, vegan oyster sauce, Braggs, rice mirin, sesame oil and brown sugar/stevia blend to a small bowl and stir well to help the sugar to dissolve. Once it has pour it into the simmering water. Stir well and leave to simmer for 5 minutes after adding the carrot flowers. 

Add the carrot noodles, mange tout, radish slices, spring onions, mooli/diakon, red pepper flowers, chopped coriander, tofu pieces and bring the stock back to a simmer and cook for a further 8 minutes. 

Using a slotted spoon divide the cooked veggies between the two serving dishes until there is just broth left simmering and place the prepped and rinsed Enoki mushrooms into the stove. Pull out the carrot and red pepper flowers and set to one side. Turn off the heat. After no more than 2 minutes spoon the Enoki onto the veggies and noodles and ladle the broth evenly between the dishes. Scatter with fresh coriander leaves and carefully placed veggie flowers and serve...

Enjoy! We certainly did...

Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank you to Ann for helping me with this creation and from picking me up off the floor (not quite literally..) when my body gave out long before my stubborn mind would! I will day. 

I hope your week gets off to a great start? Right back to those books...


NB: This is my creation and I have no problem with you using or sharing this recipe. I simply ask that you give credit where it's due and make links back to this posting. As I always try to...Many thanks Namaste ~R~