Yum, yum stir fry, and yes, you get noodles!!
Noodles are back on the list for this amazing Thai-style stir fry. You heard me correctly, GRAIN-FREE NOODLES, and NO, you do not have to make them yourselves. Behold a miracle of the modern world, a naturally grain-free noodle that is made from vegetable starch that you can find in most groceries stores. The Mung Bean Noodle is sometimes called a glass noodle and is available in the Asian foods section of most stores. I typically find mine by looking for the hot pink netting that holds a pack together. Inside the cellophane are serving sized bundles of noodles.
Working with Mung Bean Noodles
Fear not, Mung Bean Noodles may be new, but they are easy to work with. Essentially they are just dehydrated noodles and all that you need to do is rehydrate them. In a medium bowl add warm water. Submerge your bundles of noodles and go about your cooking. Check back in maybe 5-10 minutes to see how they are doing. Once mine are flexible and soft, I grab kitchen shears and cut the noodles down, just sticking the scissors into the water and chopping them up a bit. They can take a fair amount of soaking and heat without falling about, so don’t get too overly concerned about timelines, just maybe soak for no more than 30 minutes or so. I did have a friend who soaked hers for 5 hours. They expanded a lot and were maybe a bit wormy, but they were still edible. The moral of the story here is that noodles are at your doorstep and you can overcome a very minor learning curve to enjoy their goodness again.
Pad Woon Sen is a traditional Thai dish with egg and mung bean noodles. My recipe is less traditional in that I have simplified it to have fewer ingredients in line with what is available in my pantry. The preparation is a pretty straight forward stir-fry, with just the addition of the noodles to the pan. I sometimes make this without the egg, depending on what I have available. Feel free to add meat, carrots, celery, onion, cabbage, bok choy, bean sprouts, peppers, really whatever sounds good, to make this recipe your own. Stir fry is really meant to be flexible and is about cooking with what has been harvested, what is fresh and on hand. Embody this ideal and go off recipe on this!
I use a Cuisinart stir-fry pan, which I love, instead of a traditional wok. This stir fry pan works great on my electric cook top and also worked well on my gas range and is plenty large enough to cook a supersized portion of this for a larger group. The key to a good stir-fry is proper oil temperature and not overcooking. The goal is to pre-heat the oil so that you get a fast cook on the vegetables. With a hot oil, the veggies will cook, but not absorb much of the oil. If your oil is too hot you will burn the vegetables, if it is too cold the vegetables will absorb the oil and become greasy and limp. Heat the oil on medium heat and watch it. You will see that convections will begin occurring in the oil as little swirly lines. At the point that it begins to smoke, your oil is ready.
Stir fry is FAST, so have all of your ingredients chopped and in bowls around you for quick grabbing. Once you start you cannot run off to do prep, so be ready for a fast and furious cook. Toss in the vegetables that need the longest to cook first. Do not wait too long and add your additional ingredients.
In this recipe everything is pretty straightforward except maybe the egg and the noodles. Mostly, you just want those items to be touching the bottom of the pan, rather than be added on top of the other ingredients. All you need to do is move the ingredients in the pan aside to let the egg and the noodles contact the metal of the pan.
This recipe works great as a family style meal and I often serve this with other items for a large group. I almost always serve this with my Asian Almond Butter sauce, the recipe for which you can find below. This is a great alternative for people with peanut allergies or for those people who are trying to reduce the possible inflammatory foods. Peanuts are such a big allergen, that even people who do not have a full blown allergy to peanut are often sensitive. For this reason many healing diets take peanut off the menu and I have removed it from my diet. From the ashes comes this wonderful recipe, which I prefer over a peanut sauce any day.
Thanks so much for cooking with us! Let me know how you get on!
Pad Woon Sen - Grain-Free Stir Fry
- Stir Fry pan or Wok
- 1 Head Broccoli chopped into bite sized florets
- 2 cups Mushrooms sliced
- 4 bundles Mung Bean Noodle
- 2 Eggs
- 1 can Water chestnuts sliced
- 1/2 can Bamboo Shoots
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil for cooking
- 1/4 cup Chicken broth or water
- 4 cloves Garlic pressed or minced
- 4 Tbsp Soy sauce or Tamari
- 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce *Optional
- 1 Tbsp Ginger grated
- Start by soaking mung bean bundles in warm water. The dehydrated noodles will absorb the water and soften.
- Mix marinade ingredients and set aside
- Have all ingredients chopped and ready for quick access
- In a stir fry pan or wok (or really large skillet), heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Test by tossing a broccoli floret in and ensure that it sizzles. Once oil is ready, add broccoli to the pan, stir and cover for 1 minute.
- Remove lid, stir the broccoli again, then move the vegetables to create an opening in the center of the pan. Crack eggs onto the pan (not the broccoli) and scramble.
- Add mushrooms, water chestnut, bamboo shoots and stir everything together. Move to the side of the pan and add the strained noodles. Cover the noodles with the vegetables and pour the marinade over the top. Cover and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes. Test a noodle to ensure the preferred texture. Remove from heat and serve!
Asian Almond Butter Sauce
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1/4 cup Almond Butter
- 3 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 3 cloves Garlic pressed or minced
- 1 Tbsp Ginger grated
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil *optional
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes *optional
- In a small sauce pan combine all ingredients
- Heat over low temperature, stirring until ingredients are creamy and well combined.