rice stick noodles

All posts tagged rice stick noodles

Who ever heard of arrowroot? Pork Lo Mein

Published April 15, 2013 by jenmatteson

I swear…this will be the last Asian recipe for a while.  Even Nate and I are getting Asian’d-out.  But, I still had those rice stick noodles that I didn’t use up from the Pad Thai and Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad.  I honestly wasn’t even planning to post this meal, but it came together so quickly, and it was something new and different, I just couldn’t not share it with you.  I literally threw this entire recipe together on a whim, using only whatever I had in my kitchen.  It came together so nicely, I wish throwing dinner together when you have absolutely no idea what you are going to make was always this easy.


It’s still not spring outside, so pasta and red wine was the perfect fit for sweatpants and wine night in the Pigzilla home (that’s always Thursday nights).  Another bonus was that I got to try out a new “spice” of mine.  I have tons of dried herbs and spices; several that have not even been opened.  This was courtesy of my awesome dad and is connections!  Arrowroot is one of those “spices”.  I use quotations as I didn’t really know what it was, so I assumed.  Turns out, it’s actually a clear thickener that is used in gravies, sauces and pie fillings that is more easily digested than other thickeners.  Who’da thunk?  Not me, but I definitely planned to try it out with my lo mein sauce!  I love learning new things about food!

2009 St. Francis Ole Vine Zinfandel

We don’t eat a lot of pork, but I got some chops on sale and stocked  our new chest freezer!  I used only one pork chop because I like a high veggie to meat ratio, but two would be good for those meat eaters!  This came together really quickly, which always rocks when making weeknight dinners.  The flavor was perfect, and I added just the right amount of Sriracha for our preferences, probably about 2 tbsp.  The sesame oil was the star of the show, which isn’t surprising as it packs a lot of flavor with just a teeny tiny bit.

Pork Lo Mein

Pork Lo Mein

Source: Pigzilla original
Servings: 4


1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water (or chicken broth – I didn’t have any open, so I went with water)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
1 pork chop, cut in 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper
2 carrots, julienne
1/2 red bell pepper, julienne
1/2 green bell pepper, julienne
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienne
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
1/4 cup sake
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp arrowroot (or cornstarch)
Sriracha sauce
4 oz rice stick noodles, cooked


1. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, water, sugar, vinegar and 1 tbsp sesame oil.  Set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tbsp of sesame oil over medium heat.  Season pork with salt and pepper.  Add to heated skillet and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.

3. Increasing heat to medium-high, add peppers and onions to pan.  Saute until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add sake to pan and cook for 1 minute longer.  Remove vegetables, reserving remaining sake in pan.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Pour in sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Slowly whisk in arrowroot or cornstarch.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce reaches desired consistency.  Add Sriracha to desired taste.

4.  Once sauce has reached desired consistency and taste, add in noodles, pork and vegetables.  Toss to incorporate ingredients and distribute sauce evenly.

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

Published April 14, 2013 by jenmatteson

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was really on an Asian kick, and I wasn’t kidding. I’ve got another one. Only because I had 8 oz of fresh rice stick noodles leftover, and I wanted to use them up. I have no idea how long they would be good for, and the packaging was absolutely no help.

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

It’s “spring” here in Minnesota, so we must start thinking about our summer figures. Oh, and I have a small event coming up at the end of August that I’d like to look my best for 😉 I love eating salads; they are so versatile, and definitely a meal for spring and summer. While the technical start of spring was March 20th, we’ve had nothing close to what we would call “spring weather”. In fact, we just had a snow storm this week, dumping up to 9″ of snow in some areas. More snow is in the forecast for this weekend. I’m really glad I put all my patio furniture together and out on my deck when it was nice two weeks ago.

Two weeks agoThis week








But let’s talk about the salad. I really loved this salad, and the noodles bring a lot of sustenance to it. As a carb lover, adding the carbs right into my salad is brilliant! The original recipe was for  a noodle salad, but I just added more lettuce and took out some noodles to make a more salad-salad :p  This still made a huge salad, enough for Nate and I to have dinner, and each take it for lunch for two days. We ran a little short on the dressing, but that’s no biggie, though in my opinion, it was the best part! I loved all the veggies in this salad, and I added in bean sprouts (as they were also leftover from the Pad Thai I made earlier in the week).  This was a great way to use up leftover veggies, noodles, and bean sprouts to create a new exciting entrée salad.  It came together super fast, too, which is always a huge plus!

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

Source: Adapted from Branny Boils Over
Servings: 6


For the dressing:
5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 Serrano chile, seeded
1/3 cup peanuts

For the salad:
1/2 red bell pepper, julienne
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienne
2 carrots, shredded
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced into ribbons
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz rice stick noodles, cooked and cooled
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts, thoroughly rinsed (I quickly sautéed mine)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
crushed red pepper flakes


1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a food process, except for the peanuts.  Puree until smooth.  Add peanuts and pulse until coarsely chopped.

2. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients.  Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine.  Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes before serving.

Shrimp Pad Thai

Published April 8, 2013 by jenmatteson

I’ve had quite the Asian theme going in the last few posts, and we couldn’t be happier campers.  Well, maybe Nate would be if he didn’t have to split the leftovers with me!

Shrimp Pad Thai

Pad Thai was on my 30 Before 30 list, and as the months are quickly dwindling away, I am finally getting to it.  I really should have tried it much sooner because it was amazballs.  Part of the reason it has taken me so long to try this recipe is because one of the star ingredients, tamarind, isn’t available at my local grocery store.  I actually had to step outside my comfort zone and stop into my local Asian market.  Not sure why I was hesitant or what I was really expecting, but the gentleman who was working was quite friendly and more than helpful.  This market carried paste, powder, and the solid block.  Some upscale grocery stores may carry tamarind, usually in paste form and in the Asian isle.  But, the recipe I followed strongly suggests using the solid form that comes in a block.


Clearly, I’ve never worked with tamarind before, but I’m sure I’ve had it in a handful of Asian dishes I’ve ordered, not even knowing what the flavor really was.  Tamarind is a pod-like fruit that tastes quite sweet and slightly tart.  In my opinion, the sweetness and consistency is similar to figs.  Seeing as though I only needed 3 tbsp for the Pad Thai, I had most of the block left.  After some research, it appears the tamarind block can be stored in airtight container on the shelf.  No refrigeration necessary.  Most people says it lasts “forever”, though I’m guessing you’ll use it all before forever comes after you’ve tried this Pad Thai.

Shrimp Pad Thai

This recipe comes from Nicole over at Prevention RD.  It was another home run!  I can always count on her food to be yummy.  There are a lot of components, and it’s slightly cumbersome to prepare, but as Nicole suggests, if you have everything measured out and ready to go, it comes together really quickly.  This dish really hit the spot!  After a long night with friends (and a few drinks), we were really ready for some flavorful comfort food.  It’s amazing how much flavor the peanuts add, so do NOT forget them!  For you vegetarians, the shrimp can easily be omitted or substituted with tofu, and omit the fish sauce or use this recipe for a substitute.  I only made a few adaptations to Nicole’s recipe, which was using 1 tsp cayenne rather than 3/4 tsp (of course we like it spicy), and using fresh rice noodles rather than the dried variety.  Whether you think you like Thai food or not, I highly suggest trying this out.  Nate and I really enjoyed it; he even had two hearty helpings!

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 4


3 tbsp tamarind solid
3/4 cup water, boiling
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp peanut oil
8 oz rice stick noodles (my grocery store had fresh, but dried will work just fine)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
6 tbsp unsalted peanuts
3 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges


1. Soak tamarind in 3/4 cup boiling water for 10 minutes.  Push tamarind through mesh strainer, reserving water in medium bowl.  To the bowl, add fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cayenne and 2 tbsp peanut oil.  Stir and set aside.

2. If using dried rice stick noodles, cover with hot tap water in large bowl; soak until softened, pliable, and limp but not fully tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain noodles and set aside.  If using fresh rice stick noodles, in a medium sauce pan, fill with water and bring to a boil.

3. In a small bowl, beat eggs and 1/8 tsp salt.  Set aside.

4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet or wok over high heat until just beginning to smoke.  Add shrimp and sprinkle with remaining salt.  Cook and flip occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and beginning to brown around edges, about 3 minutes (don’t worry, they don’t have to be cooked completely through at this point).  Transfer to plate and set aside.

5. Discard any excess liquid in pan.  Add remaining tbsp oil to skillet and swirl to coat; heat to medium.  Add garlic and shallot and cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Add eggs to skillet and stir with wooden spoon until lightly scrambled, less than 1 minute.  Meanwhile, drop rice stick noodles into boiling water, immediately remove and transfer to skillet.  Pour fish sauce mixture over noodles, increase heat to high, and toss constantly to coat noodles evenly.  Scatter 1/4 cup peanuts, bean sprouts, scallions (reserving some for garnish) and cooked shrimp over noodles.  Continue to cook on high, tossing until noodles are tender, about 3 minutes.

6. Transfer noodles to serving platter, sprinkle with remaining peanuts, scallions and cilantro.  Serve immediately with lime wedge.

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