Lesson 69: Asian Noodles

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I am a bit behind on my posts because I forgot my camera in school on Thursday. So let me back-track a bit and tell y'all about Asian Noodle Day!! Thursday was a super long, hectic day since I headed to the city a little bit earlier than usual for an interview. I had a nice little adventure in NY with my awful sense of direction. I made it to my interview and back downtown to school with several blisters on my feet (lesson of the day: don't wear heels when you have to walk around the city).

I definitely worked up an appetite for lots of noodles! I'm so glad I got a picture of all of the dishes presented on the table at the end of class. It's seriously SO much food! All of the dishes that I tell you about are multiplied by 3, since each group makes the same recipes.

My group split up the seven recipes of the day and got cooking! I made the Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bun Salad with Beef. I have never made a Vietnamese dish before, so it was really interesting working with different ingredients and plating a gorgeous meal.

I started out by making the marinade for the beef. I caramelized sugar (by simply boiling it until it turns golden). I added in sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic, lemongrass, and salt. After trimming and slicing the flank steak, I let it sit in the marinade until it was time to grill.

In the meantime, I prepared the salad. I used dried rice stick noodles. Most of the dishes today involved a type of dried rice noodle, which is very different from the noodles we're used to cooking. Instead of just cooking them in boiling water, we had to soak them in warm water until they softened just a bit. Then, I plunged my rice stick noodles in boiling water for only 10 seconds. I also julienned carrots and blanched them, and thinly sliced a Euro cucumber. I made a Vietnamese Dressing by boiling a little bit of water with rice vinegar and palm sugar. I added in shredded carrots, thinly sliced bird's eye chiles (very spicy!), crushed garlic, lime juice, and fish sauce. The dressing was spicy, sour, and sweet.. definitely an interesting taste!

After the meat was grilled, I began plating this large and impressive noodle salad. I garnished the whole thing with a lot of fresh herbs (cilantro and mint), peanuts, and limes:

Jessica made this very traditional Pad Thai recipe. She also used rice noodles and stir fried shrimp, chicken, egg, and a variety of herbs and spices.

Kim made the cold noodle recipes, including this Japanese Cold Soba Noodle with Dipping Sauce: (the little green leaf is actually wasabi paste!)

And this Japanese Udon with White Miso Sauce:
The Pan-Fried Chinese Egg Noodles with Beef & Broccoli (that Al made) was especially interesting because the noodles were formed into an 8-inch disk-shape and pan-fried until they were crispy.

Kim also made this Chinese Chengdu Noodle dish: (made with egg noodles, bean sprouts, and a ginger- peanut dressing)

Nora made this Thai Shrimp with Bean Thread Noodles:

Mi made an extra special Korean noodle dish from her home country:

Yet again, we grabbed our chopsticks and dug in!

I'll be back later today to post on yesterday's class (dumplings!) and wine class. I tried some really amazing Italian wines!


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