Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rice Noodles with Vegetables and Adzuki Beans

Thanks to my recent purchase of coconut aminos, I'm having lots and lots of fun with Asian inspired cooking.  Tonight, I decided to do a vegan stir-fry with adzuki beans and lots of fresh vegetables, including red onion, shitake mushrooms, yellow bell pepper, baby carrots, garlic, bok choy and fresh cilantro.

The adzuki bean is small in size and reddish/purplish in color.  According to wikipedia, they have been used in Asian cooking for centuries, with fossilized beans found in ruins dated to 4,000 BC!  The beans are a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and folic acid. While they're often used in sweet preparations, I enjoy them in savory dishes like tonight's concoction.

I finely diced 1/4 of a large red onion and half a yellow pepper.  I then thinly sliced a large handful of shitake mushroom caps (I find the stems to be too tough), as well as eight baby carrots (if you're using a whole carrot, 1-2 peeled should be sufficient). 

Once this selection of the veg was cooking, I heated a 3/4 full kettle of water on the stove and began sauteing the onions, mushrooms and peppers in oil, seasoning with black pepper.  When the kettle was hot, I put the rice noodles in a metal mixing bowl, poured over the hot water, and let the noodles soak for 10 minutes.

As the noodles soaked, I added the carrots and 3/4 of the can of adzuki beans.  I then minced three cloves of garlic in my chopper, sliced the bok choy and chopped the cilantro.  I then added these last three ingredients, and, when the garlic was fragrant, added some coconut aminos and sesame oil.

When the 10 minutes of soaking was up, I drained the noodles and stir-fried them with the vegetable bean mixture for two minutes, allowing them to absorb the flavors of the sauce and finish cooking. I then put the noodles in a bowl and garnished them with sesame seeds.

The result was very flavorful and filling.  If I made it again and wanted to add a spicy element, I would add a bit of Sriracha or some red pepper flakes. 

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