Saturday, 22 March 2014

Getting a bit of a Pickle in...

Tagliatelle di Riso con Funghi "Shiitake" & Kimchi
Rice Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms & Kimchi

No, Dear Reader, I have not made a mistake in the title of this post- I did indeed sneak something pickled into my supper this evening and am very glad that I did so too! Because that something was Kimchi- sour and tangy and spicy and so good in this combination, with lovely fresh Shiitake mushrooms!

Up until now, I have only ever served or eaten kimchi- which of course I have either bought at an Asian supermarket, as I did this time- or enjoyed at a Korean restaurant, as a side dish to accompany something else. But I hadn't thought of using it as an ingredient in my own cooking. Until now. But you know what? I am sure I will be using it again!

Whilst scouring the interwebs, I stumbled upon a Korean recipe or two combining Shiitake's, tofu and kimchi. I liked the sound of their simplicity and was excited to try something similar out for myself... but wouldn't you know it? No tofu. WHich is not surprising as I am not the greatest fan of the stuff- haha. I have made it on occasion and all kidding aside, do more or less "like" it, but I was already home from shopping and had missed my chance to pick some up. 

And what does one do in such a case? That's right... improvise! So- out went the tofu and in went the rice noodles, which together with a couple of Spring onions, 3-4 tablespoons of kimchi, 8-9 Shiitake mushrooms and a little parsley, as I also didn't think to buy cilantro (aaargh!), this was my list of ingredients to prepare my makeshift supper.

The first thing I did was to soak the noodles in cold water for 5 minutes, which allows them to begin to soften and to give off a little of their starchiness into the water, which of course then gets poured away and the remaining noodles are then less sticky and slimy after boiling.

And in those 5 minutes, I started the water boiling that I would use to boil the noodles and washed and cut up the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces, the Spring onions into fine slices and the larger pieces of kimchi also into more manageable chunks that would make for better eating.

I put the freshly washed and chopped mushrooms into a frying pan and turned up the heat until they began to cook and steam a little. I added a little salt and pepper and after sautéing them for 3-4 minutes, added the Spring onions and a drizzle of olive oil so that they really began to sizzle.

I added a little splash of fish sauce and the kimchi, along with a small handful of parsley and continued stir-frying for a further minute or two, whilst I popped the noodles into the boiling water to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Once the noodles were soft(ish) but not quite ready, I drained off most of the water and then poured them into the frying pan with the mushrooms and kimchi. Of course there was a lot of steam as the pan de-glazed and all of the good flavor from the bottom of the pan, from the hot and spicy kimchi and the lovely fresh mushrooms became absorbed by the rice noodles- which was really terrific!

After 2-3 minutes, it was ready... I told you this was a simple dish! I added some tiny, leaves of parsley as they added a vibrant, fresh flavor to the mushrooms. I also added a drizzle of oyster sauce and sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for the finishing touch... and what can I say? Yes it was very simple- but yes it was very satisfying and delicious! I loved the tangy and hot kimchi together with the mild mushrooms and hope you will too as it sure makes for a good quick and easy dinner! This is another dish that I will have to make again! Yummy!

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