Friday, November 9, 2012

Sesame Noodles with Shredded Cabbage

The other night we made Sesame Noodles with Shredded Cabbage for dinner.  I selected this Asian-inspired pasta dish mostly as a vehicle for eating cabbage (cabbage is so good!), and it ended up having a pleasantly light, fresh taste.   I will say that it tasted much better when served immediately compared to when served as leftovers, so you may want to keep that in mind.  

Grain + Vegetables.
Recipe:     
Sesame Noodles with Shredded Cabbage

  • 20 ounces spaghetti 
  • 1 pound cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

First, prepare the spaghetti according to package instructions.  Before draining the pasta, place the cabbage and carrots in the (large) colander you will use.

Meanwhile, whisk together the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan while heating over medium-low heat.  Mix until the sauce becomes smooth and then allow to simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are ready.

When the spaghetti is ready, drain the noodles over the cabbage and carrots.  This will wilt the cabbage.  Then transfer everything back into the pot, add the sauce and cilantro, and toss to combine. 

Yields 6-8 servings.

Comments:
Taste:            
This dish had a decent, mild flavor: the sauce was light, the peanut flavor was minimal, and the cilantro added a bit of freshness.  While the flavor wasn't terribly exciting, the texture was quite interesting.  Perhaps Simon and Rachel can comment on this later, but the shredded cabbage mixed with the sauce almost reminded me of the texture of tuna salad.  It definitely added some intrigue to the dish.  
Accessibility:          
We happened to have an open bottle of white wine in the refrigerator, making it pretty easy to add in just 1/4 cup.  You could also use vegetable broth or sherry in place of the wine. 
  Ease of Preparation:     
It was a hassle to shred the cabbage using a hand grater, so I would recommend using a food processor with the grater attachment or even buying a bag of cole slaw cabbage instead of a head of cabbage.  But, the rest of the dish is quite easy, and I love being able to take advantage of already-boiling pasta water to wilt the cabbage.
Non-vegan friendliness:           
This dish wasn't very satisfying as a one-pot meal (after all, it has very little protein and left us hungry).  Even if it were served alongside seitan or some other protein, this wouldn't be one of my favorite Dinner is Vegan recipes.       

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