I love noodle bowls.
I think I love them because they give the illusion of stir-fry without the problem of rice. I have a few problems with rice, not least of which is that I’m just not very good at making it. It remains the only food I cannot master after repeated tries, and it seems like such a basic thing that I feel it is one of those things that, if you cannot master naturally, you should just give up on.
Good attitude, I know, and if I liked rice I would put in a lot more effort, or invest in a rice cooker, or some such thing, but the fact is, even the best rice will never be as good as pasta. Not even close. My poor husband actually loves rice, and it turns out my 1-year-old shares that fondness, so I do occasionally make it as an extra side dish, but it’s lucky to make an appearance once a month around here.
I am determined to get over this distaste for rice enough to try risotto, since I see so many amazing-looking risotto recipes that look like they wouldn’t taste anything like regular rice. If you have a favourite risotto recipe or any rice cooking tips I would love to hear them!
In the meantime, I make noodle bowls.
This one isn’t so much a recipe as an idea, since it was something I threw together with everything I already had in my fridge and cupboard, and it would be delicious with a wide variety of combinations. The sweet and spicy combination is a favourite around here, and Carl took one bite of this one and declared that I had better take a picture so I could blog about it, so here we are.
- 1 lb pork, beef, or chicken, sliced into strips (optional)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ a medium zucchini, chopped or grated
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- ¼ cup finely sliced onion
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- ½ a jalapeno, seeded and diced
- Sweet and sour sauce
- President's Choice General Tao's Sweet & Spicy Stir Fry Sauce (or any equivalent)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ⅓ cup water
- Instant Chinese noodles aka stir fry noodles
- Heat frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and meat and cook until meat is just browned on all sides. Add all vegetables and saute 3-5 minutes, until meat is thoroughly cooked and veggies are tender-crisp.
- Add equal amounts of the two sauces (enough to coat as many noodles as your family needs), salt, pepper and water. Stir and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in instant noodles (you want them to still have some crispness, and the mixture will be hot enough to soften them perfectly).
Stir-fry w rice = extra rice = fried rice the next day = worth it.
This looks delicious! I love all of your vegetables in this.
Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts says
That looks simple delicious!!!! My fave risotto is one with porcini mushrooms and the recipe is over on my blog if you are interested. :)
I AM Interested, heading over to check it out, thanks!!
Yum! That looks great and I’m sure I would love it! I also LOVE rice… but barely ever make it b/c Henry doesn’t like it. I usually use a brown rice, boil it, then fry it and add all kinds of veggies too , or make Nasi, and top with s&s meatballs.
Hmm, frying it after boiling might solve my problem of often finding it too sticky. Good idea, thanks!
A friend of mine told me about parboiled rice, which when made according to the package, never sticks together or gets mushy. I really like Uncle Ben’s parboiled brown rice. It cooks in 20 minutes, sits for 5 and is delicious every time. I like to use chicken or beef stock (depending on what it is going with) instead of water, and add what you like at the end…diced red pepper and mushrooms are always nice. Sobey’s (likely the equivalent of Safeway out your way) also has a very nice wild rice and regular rice mix that is delicious. I have also always wanted to try risotto…I will have to try Irene’s version first but there are lots of different ones I have seen that all look yummy.
Ok…seriously….risotto is the answer to all of your rice dislikes. Reuben does NOT like rice but he LOVES risotto. Risotto is so creamy and slightly salty but you don’t put any cream in it…so it’s a guilt-free!:) You just buy ARBORIO rice and follow the directions on the package. Basically you heat some olive oil in a saucepan, then put in your amount of rice (around 1 c.) and coat it with the oil, stir it around and let it get toasty for a min or so. Oh and have some chicken/veggie stock simmering in another pan beside it on the stove. Then start adding a ladle-ful or so of the stock at a time to the rice and stir it in, keep stirring until it is all absorbed by the rice. Keeping adding ladle-fulls to the rice until all of the stock is used up or the rice is nice and creamy but still has a bit of a slight crunch to it. I think it’s a 2:1 ratio of stock to rice, in the end. It does take a bit of watching and stirring but I find this soothing at the end of a long day. We love it with stirfried veggies and shrimp on top, you don’t need a sauce just some spices. I hope you try it soon!
I’ll admit it – I cheat with rice – I buy the 5 minute instant rice. I don’t notice the difference between this and regular rice, and it’s seriously so easy. You boil water, add the rice, and remove from heat, let it sit for 5-7 minutes and presto! Rice! This recipe sounds like it will be a big hit in our house, so I’ll definitely be trying this one!