Saturday, 14 June 2014

Something to Go Nutty About

Pasta di Grana Saraceno con Okra, Pomodori & Zenzero & Bok Choy

Buckwheat Noodles with Okra, Tomato & Ginger & Bok Choy

My grocery shopping was very much a mixed-bag today after stopping by a number of Ethnic supermarkets in a riots parts of the city... Which was fun! But also exhausting!!

So by the time I was home in the evening, I was almost too tired to know exactly what to make for supper... And of course, not having a well made plan means that you just have to improvise... And so that is what I did!

What may look a little exotic here, was actually a lot more simple than you may think... It was quick,,it was light and it was easy to make! Which as we all know, happens to be the best kind of meal you could want to make at the end of a busy day!

To make a nice, hearty portion, you will a couple of bok choy, buckwheat, or "soba" noodles, 10-15 small okra, a spring onion, a little fresh ginger, 5-6 cherry tomatoes and a handful of coriander.

The chopped, salted peanuts were the little detail that made this meal great- as is so often the case with Asian dishes... Nothing can quite beat their tasty, salty crunch!

Together with ginger, a little fish sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and lime juice, these were the only added flavors necessary to whip-up this quick and tasty meal, so let's get busy and let me tell you how to make it!

First of all, you will need to halve and wash the bok choy, then to pop it into a frying pan with a little water and to first boil it for 2-3 minutes from each side. Once it has cooked for a while and darkened in color, becoming a richer and more vibrant green, pour off the water, add a little sesame oil and toss it over a high heat for a few minutes to give it a nice glaze. Season with a splash of fish sauce and pepper and set to one side.

Finely chop about 2" of ginger, the Spring onion and the cilantro and halve both the okra and the cherry tomatoes... Grab yourself a frying pan, get a little peanut oil sizzling and ready to fry and get ready to rumble!

Start off with the chopped ginger and the okra and fry at a high heat until they begin to crisp-up and brown...

Once the okra is nice and brown, add the remaining ingredients and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until everything becomes nice and brown too. Season again with fish sauce, a little cayenne or chili if you prefer it hot, or simply black pepper... And pop a small saucepan onto the stove top with a little water to boil the soba noodles... Which only take 2-3 minutes at the most.

Once the noodles are boiled, pour off the water, add a little sesame oil, lime juice, fish sauce, and plenty of the finely chopped cilantro, toss a few times and serve them up with the bok choy and the stir-fried okra and tomatoes.

Drizzle with hoisin sauce and plenty of finely chopped peanuts... This being the reason that we haven't added much in the way of salt or other seasoning so far. Feel free to add some sriracha chili or Tabasco if you like it hot and spicy, or simply enjoy as-is with the tangy lime flavor and the refreshing cilantro.

Just take a look at this picture and you will see that there is all the flavor this dish needs right there... That's why I kept the spice relatively limited and let the natural favors speak for themselves... They happen to have a great voice 

Go ahead and try it out... And enjoy!

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