I’m not usually a big fan of noodles, believe it or not. I know, I know, how could I not love one of the universe’s most precious culinary gifts? It’s not that I dislike the ingredient itself, but I do dislike how heavy they can often be.
(Think creamy Italian pasta, oily chow mein, and pad thai that can leave you full for days).
In the right recipe, however, noodles can be a great addition–as long as they are not the sole component of the dish. When complemented with a bunch of fresh veggies and some slightly less-starchy konjac noodles, they become an aspect of a great dish without stealing the spotlight and inducing a carb-coma.
These pan fried noodles may seem complicated, and I won’t pretend they don’t include lots of ingredients, but all are worth it, and none are too hard to get your hands on.
(Konjac noodles are not as exotic as they sound–they are also called shiritaki, can be found in most grocers in the produce section, and are often labeled “low carb/low calorie.”)
Once you’ve compiled everything, this recipe for pan fried noodles comes together quite quickly and easily. It’s great served warm from the pan or cold if you happen to have any leftovers. You can mix pan fried noodles with a salad or a grain base like rice or quinoa to bulk it up a bit.
If you’re craving the savory goodness of your favorite Vietnamese noodle dish without the heaviness that often accompanies, try this alternative out for yourself.
Vegan Vietnamese Pan Fried Noodles
- 4 cups water
- 4 oz. rice noodles
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large carrots
- 8 oz. fried tofu
- 2 cups, packed green beans
- 4 oz. konjac noodles
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup cilantro, packed
- 1 chili (optional)
1. Combine water, bay leaf, paprika, garlic, onion, and salt in pot.
2. Bring water to boil and add noodles, then reduce heat and cook until soft (3-4 minutes).
3. Drain extra water into a mug and set aside.
4. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
5. Cut carrots to about 1-cm slices and add to pan, along with 1/4 cup of excess noodle water.
6. Cover pan with lid and allow carrots to steam for about 10 minutes.
7. Cut tofu into roughly 1-inch cubes and add to pan, uncovered.
8. Cut green beans in half and add to pan along with cooked noodles and konjac noodles.
9. Add 2 more tablespoons of noodle water and soy sauce, then fry for about 5 minutes, until noodles start to crisp and green beans turn bright green.
10. Chop up cilantro and chili and stir through noodles, then serve.
Also by Quincy: Japanese Soba Noodles with Kabocha Squash & Natto
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Photos: Quincy Malesovas