[98] Broccoli Noodles with Garlic and Soy

Cover of The Everything Thai Cookbook by Jennifer Malott Kotylo

So, awhile back, my dear friend “Jen”:http://antijenicdrift.blogspot.com/ commented that she wished there were more recipes made from a wider variety of books. She felt that it was interesting to read about what books we had, and why, but she wanted to see what we were cooking out of them!

Well, I’m not going to be able to satisfy her curiosity for all our cookbooks (see “the Dahl cookbook”:http://metacookbook.com/permalink/roald-dahls-revolting-recipes.html) but it did nudge me to go back and check out cookbooks we may STILL not have cracked, nearly nine months into this challenge. I found this one, and found that I’d mentioned at least two recipes I wanted to eat pretty much instantly, so I went to go make one or the other. Only to discover that I didn’t have the ingredients and couldn’t get them for months. BOO!

However, I still wanted Thai food and I still wanted Jen to have her wish of seeing more of what cookbooks I have. This is the result.

It is, sadly, not pretty.

h2. Ingredients

1 lb broccoli, trimmed into bit-sized pieces (florets, if you really like ‘em. I prefer stems.)
16 oz rice noodles

1 – 2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sweet soy sauce (I couldn’t find or make; substituted “using some of the ingredients found here”:http://www.ehow.com/how_4482717_make-sweet-soy-sauce.html)

1 tbsp sugar

Hot Sauce

Fish Sauce

Lime wedges

h2. Instructions

Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Drop in the broccoli and blanch until tender-crisp, or to your liking. Drain & set aside.

Soak the rice noodles in hot water until soft, ~10 min

In a large sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium. Add the garlic & stir-fry until golden. Add the soy sauces and the sugar, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Add the reserved boodles, tossing until well coated with the sauce. Add the broccoli and toss to coat.

Serve immediately, with hot sauce, fish sauce and lime wedges on the side.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

Okay, don’t try this recipe if you don’t have or can’t make sweet soy sauce. I don’t actually know that it changed the recipe significantly, but I suspect it did.

So here’s what I did to substitute the sweet soy sauce: I added some extra sugar and some cinnamon. I didn’t have any star anise, and couldn’t get my hands on any. Hence trying to substitute instead of making my own.

You know, I misread the directions at first, and thought this called for 8oz of rice noodles. Upon realizing this, Bill, Jessie and I walked down to Whole Foods and got another 8oz of noodles. This was a mistake. Not least of all because Bill and Jessie were more hungry (read = ravenous) than they’d anticipated. It made for an adventure at Whole Foods (which is far more crowded at 6pm on weeknight than I’d ever have anticipated), and on the walk there and back.

However, the real mistake was simply that 16 oz of noodles was far, far too much for this recipe. They didn’t become coated in sauce, they sucked it up. They didn’t share space with the broccoli, they dominated it. They wiped the floor with the garlic.

h3. Consumption

This recipe made a ton of food, mostly bland. It was, for me, a serious disappointment. I like the idea, though, so I may well try it again, but with half the noodles.

Definitely use the lime and the fish sauce. They were very tasty, and (in my case) pumped up the flavor a great deal. Which was desperately needed.

Basically, it probably has some potential to be good, but it really failed. I do think adding actual sweet soy sauce would have helped, but not by much. While there’d have been more flavors in the recipe (and I’m told, the sauce would have been more “sticky”), it still could not have come close to covering all those noodles.

In short, increase the amount of broccoli and halve the noodles. Also, as a tip, I do think you can use frozen broccoli in this recipe.