Monday, May 4, 2009

Diamonds are NOT this girl's best friend. Noodles might be...

These rainy Mondays really need to stop.

Bootcamp this morning was brutal. We do this 'game' with a deck of cards at least once a week where each suit is a different exercise (hearts=step back lunges, jokers=squat thrusts, diamonds=push ups). Now, while I do enjoy tough workouts, it seems our trainer likes them even more since he sneaks in some cards here and there. Today's class was no exception. Somehow there weren't any diamonds lower than 6 in that deck - and I find it hard to believe that there are
three 10 of diamond cards in a single deck ;) Totally beat after that class.

Lunch today was only a salad w/goat cheese, crasins and pepperoni (random, yes, but I had some leftover from pizza night last week). I found myself wishing I had some leftovers from last night instead :\

Last night's dinner was part experimental, part safety. I went with an Asian-y tilapia inspired by one my mom does. I was missing slivered almonds this time around, but I'll include them in the recipe below. Then I decided to use some shiratake noodles I picked up at Daruma for a noodle salad with sesame ginger dressing. I love the ginger dressing you get on salads at Japanese restaurants, especially on the slices of cucumber and carrot, so I decided to create a noodle salad around that:

The tilapia ready to go into the oven
Plated w/the noodle salad
Verdict? BOO TILAPIA. I've given this fish so many chances and lately it's done nothing but disappoint me. It's totally the cheapest fish at the store for a reason - no matter how you dress it, it tastes like dirt too earthy. That being said, I love the seasonings I used, so definitely give this a try with any white fish (I've done this with halibut and I think cod before). The noodle salad was really tasty, especially with the dressing. I must give fair warning - it's really oniony!

Asian-Inspired Tilapia
2 tilapia fillets, or any other white fish. PLEASE use any other white fish! :)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1/4 c scallion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp slivered almonds
3 tbsp sesame oil

Preheat broiler. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce and mirin. Sprinkle fish with ginger, garlic, half of the scallions and sauce. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until cooked through. While fish is cooking, heat the sesame oil in a pan. Take fish out of oven and sprinkle almonds and remaining scallions, drizzle fish with the hot oil.

Shiratake Noodle Salad
1 package shiratake noodles
1 c cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 c carrot, julienned
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 small onion, grated
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Boil water for shiratake noodles, soak for 3-5 minutes, drain and cool. Mix tahini, soy sauce, onion, ginger, sugar, vinegar and oil. Place noodles on plate, top with cucumber, carrot and dressing.

Tonight's dinner was a total experiment. I wanted to make pad thai, but my fridge and cabinets seemed to have other plans. The result was something tasty and reminiscent of pad thai, but definitely not anything close to an authentic pad thai. I'd make it again though...with a few adjustments.

Eh, bad bowl color choice ;)
I improvised since I a) didn't have tamarind paste or juice b) ran out of fish sauce as I was cooking c) realized as I got home that the tofu would be better if it was flavored but only had a few minutes to flavor it and d) I ran out of my experimental sauce. I also realized as I looked up pad thai recipes that I must be the only asian on the planet without a wok.

I stopped at the Giant to pick up some eggs and figured I should get a back up sauce just in case mine needed help or needed to be replaced. So I went with this:

Thai Kitchen is one of those brands I'll reach for in a non-Asian grocery b/c it's usually pretty good for sauces/pastes when you need one in a pinch. When I opened this one, it was really tomato-y so I just used it sparingly (until I ran out of sauce at the end and had to dump some extra in...oops!)

I 'spiced' my tofu by dipping them in a mixture of Chinese five spice powder, soy sauce, chili oil and mirin. Totally would have been better if I soaked them during the day.

Verdict: Not bad considering all the experimenting. Definitely needed more sauce - totally underestimated the power of the noodle. Here's the recipe, with modifications on the measurements:

Wannabe Pad Thai
1 package pad thai noodles, soaked and drained
1/2 c fish sauce
1/4 c worcestershire sauce
1/4 c lime juice
1/3 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp Thai Kitchen Pad Thai Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c bean sprouts
1/3 c scallions, chopped
2 eggs
2 tbsp chili oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 package firm tofu

In a small saucepan, heat fish sauce, worcestershire sauce, lime juice, sugar, peanut butter and Pad Thai sauce; set aside. In a wok or large pot, heat chili and vegetable oil. Add garlic and bean sprouts. Push to one side of the pot and scramble eggs on the cleared side. Add tofu, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add sauce, scallions and noodles. Cook another 3 minutes until noodles are coated.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

we have a wok...we have 2 or 3 of them. they are in the cabinets.