I almost never not crave noodles.
And I’ve learned to live my day to day with kojak noodles, or even courgette ones.
I’m not going to lie, I miss rice noodles, and hand pulled noodles especially, but I’ve learned to live with kojak.
You can use whatever you can live with or find at home. Just make sure that by “assembly” time they’re soft (cooked) and drained.
It looks like a long recipe, but the point of this dish is that you prep all the stuff first, and then in under 15min you assemble the whole thing.
If you change and replace practically anything in this recipe, you’ll end up with a very similar dish. Except maybe the peanut butter, you need the peanut butter (although it could be tahini or something like that if you insist).
I used tempeh because I had it at hand, but literally any type of protein works, from tofu to chicken or prawns. Make sure that whatever you use is small enough to cook quickly, think 7-10min depending on your vegetables.
You have flexibility with the veg you use too, but I think they really should be crunchy in this dish, so adjust cooking times.
If for example using a tough one (broccoli) with a softer one (courgette), maybe only add the courgette the last couple of minutes, so it doesn’t become too soft.
Any cabbage-ey leaf works for the pickle, but use the tender leaves from the center not the harder ones, or they’ll be too tough for the “pickling” time we’re allowing.
The instructions below are divided into each individual component (sauce, pickle, veg and topping), and then the full assembly time. I hope it makes sense.
- 2tbsp peanut butter
- 75ml boiling water
- A splash of tamari
- A splash of vinegar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of garlic powder
- Chilli flakes to taste
- Place the peanut butter in a medium-sized bowl and add around 25ml of the boiling water and stir.
- You want to add water in stages, to control how runny the sauce becomes. Ideally you want it to be runny, but not so much it feels like peanut-coloured water!
- Adjust how much water you use – I needed around 75ml
- When it has the consistency you want, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine them well.
- Set aside
- 3-4 inner leaves of Savoy cabbage
- 1tbsp vinegar
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- Finely slice the leaves. You want them the, so they look shredded.
- Place them in a large-enough bowl, and add the vinegar, oil and salt.
- Mix it all well and let sit on the side while you prep the rest.
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 a head of cauliflower
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 1 block of tempeh
- 1tbsp coriander seeds (at hand for the assembly!)
- 1tsp chilli powder (at hand for the assembly!)
This is is like a mise-en-place, so you want to prepare them now so you don’t have to when you start cooking them. I placed the different elements side by side on a plate, but use separate bowl or the chopping board if you want.
- Finely slice the garlic and ginger, and place on a plate
- Roughly dice the onion, and set on the plate
- Roughly chop the cauliflower and broccoli. Use the stems, stalks and florets, and even broccoli leaves, and place aside
- Then crumble a block of tempeh over the broccoli/cauliflower, and set aside until the assembly.
- 1 small garlic clove. If you have a pre-roasted one, all the better
- 1 handful of nuts – I went for pecans and cashews
- 3tsp olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- Crush the garlic clove into a pestle and mortal, add the oil and salt and crush everything for a few second to create a lumpy paste.
- Heat a wok, crush the nuts into rough pieces (with your hands is fine) and toast them for a few minuted over medium-high heat until they start to brown, stirring constantly so they don’t burn.
- When the nuts are almost toasted enough, pour the garlic oil, cook for a 15seconds or so, then spoon into a bowl to let cool.
FINALLY for the assembly!
This comes together start to finish in about 15min so have everything at hand (but don’t stress either).
Heat the same wok you toasted the nuts in, and when it’s hot drop the drained and rinsed noodles, and about 1/2 of the picked cabbage.
Toss for a minute or so to heat through, then add a couple of tablespoons of the sauce, toss again to coat everything well, and divide in your serving bowl.
Add the remaining picked cabbage beside your noodles in the serving bowl, cold as they are.
Now the wok is free again, add a couple of tablespoons of oil, the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 2-3min over high heat.
Add the coriander seeds and chilli powder, and fry stirring constantly until the onion just about starts to get transparent.
Now add the chopped vegetables and tempeh all at once. Bring the heat to medium-high, and fry stirring frequently to make sure the vegetables brown and char a little, but also cook. I think I’ve said this before but you’re looking for them to be crunchy!
Add a couple of tablespoons of satay sauce to the wok at the very last minute, stir to coat well and take off the heat.
Divide the stir fry into the bowls by the noodles. and drizzle any remaining sauce over if you have any left.
Finally sprinkle the toasted nut topping over before tucking in.
If you have any of that crispy chilli oil, it wouldn’t go amiss