by Chef Kendall Huff
Native Foods Cafe
My life would be completely different without Asian
I would be a different
chef all together. Instead getting my first job under a French chef learning
about mother sauces and red wine reductions, I worked in an Asian Hotel and
made dim sum and worked with woks (French stuff came later). I have such a
wonderful place in my heart for rice dishes, noodles and those fresh
ingredients that bring out those wonderful Asian flavors.
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta that is round and
a little thicker than spaghetti (aka little worms). Some of my favorite types would be the mung bean type, which
turns clear when they are cooked. I also like the rice vermicelli, which is a
little heavier to the bite and white when it’s cooked. But both are awesome! So
here is a soup and a stir fry for you… and this is stir fry man…
The broth for your noodle soup is the MOST important thing.
It needs to be packed with flavor. I like to simmer my broth for 50 to 60
minutes. Low and slow to allow all those different flavors to ooze out.
For the Broth:
1 each star anise
1 whole cinnamon stick
4 each kaffir lime leaves**
**These leaves are amazing! They give any dish or broth a
nice light citrus flavor without over powering it**
1 tsp black peppercorns
1- ½ in piece ginger
3 each whole garlic cloves
1 TBSP chili sauce
6 each shitake stems
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP organic sugar or agave
3 qts water (more if needed)
To cook the noodles, place 3 qts in a pot and bring to a
boil. Add the pound of vermicelli and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Strain the
noodles and rinse them under cold water and set them aside.
Now, another great thing about cooking these noodles, is
that they go with any vegetable. I used red onions, carrots, red peppers,
scallions, shitakes, lime juice and snap peas. I like to keep the crunch to my
veggies so I place them in a bowl with the noodles and pour the smoking hot
broth over the veggies. That way they still have a bit of a crunch.
And of course…I garnish with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds
Not for the Vermicelli Sauté Bowl. The first thing to
remember in your sauté is the Asian Trinity… plus Sriracha!
This can be different for everyone, but mine is chili garlic
sauce, liquid aminos, ume plum vinegar… and Sriracha. They give me the spice,
salt and vinegar I like to cook with. And added to fresh garlic and ginger, you
just can’t go wrong.
So I cooked my noodles the same as above and set them aside.
Then the chopping began.
1 TBSP ginger, chopped
1 TBSP garlic, chopped
½ # fresh shitake mushrooms
½ cup red pepper, sliced
½ cup red onion, sliced
1 ear fresh corn, off the husk
½ cup snow peas
5 each scallions, ½ inch chop
3 sprigs cilantro
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Place 2 TBSP of safflower oil in a sauté pan on high heat
and toss those veggies in there.
After 3 to 4 minutes off sautéing, add the noodles, 2 tb of
Ume Vinegar, 4 to 6 pumps of Aminos and 2 Tb of soy sauce and toss until the
noodles are hot and moist.
Top with some cilantro and Sriracha.