Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Drunken Noodles with Shiitake & Cashews

Every time the CC reads one of those ridiculous vegan recipes written by a chick – and yes! it's always a chick – even when the flavor pairings are quite attractive, he realizes that they have absolutely no idea of what actually makes the recipe tick at either a deep scientific or cultural level.

This is one of those recipes.

So the CC being the CC went back and reworked the recipe back to what it should've been in the first place. The integrity of the recipe has been preserved (still the same flavor combinations), and it's still vegan!

At the heart of it, the recipe is a classic Japanese dashi-laden broth with udon noodles except that the broth has been infused with classic Indian flavors. Textural variation is added by the addition of cashews (definitely not Japanese since they are New World!) The mushrooms add the umami-oomph as explained here, and there are carrots for color and nutrition.

The recipe is terrific! (The CC's version not the zombie vegan chick's version which is positively upchuck-worthy!)

May technique and culture win over mindless zombie cultists! (Not terribly likely but one can only hope.)


4 cups dashi
1" ginger (chopped coarsely)
4-6 green chillies

1 pack udon noodles

1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup carrots (cut into fine sticks)
1/2 cup cashews

2 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
1 scallion (cut at a steep diagonal)


Roast the cashews in the oven at 375°F for about 15 minutes. Be careful since they have a tendency to burn.

Meanwhile make the dashi. You can make it vegan by making it shōjin ryōri style by just using konbu.

Then add the ginger, green chillies, soy sauce, mirin, salt and sugar to it and let it stew gently for about 15 minutes. Strain, and toss the ginger and green chillies.

Toss in the shiitake mushrooms and carrots and set aside.

Taste. It should have a strong bite but be balanced in its flavor. Adjust as necessary.

Cook the udon noodles. Drain and pour them into individual bowls.

Top with the broth, cashews, scallions and cilantro.

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