Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.
Today: A fresh and satisfying bowl of garlicky vegetables and noodles, easily customized to your liking.
Near my favorite Indian market in the outskirts of Dallas is a strip of Chinese restaurants and markets. The produce department of one in particular intrigued me; it was fully stocked with beautiful vegetables and house-made noodles, each individually wrapped with care. As it turns out, exploring different markets can be as inspiring as it is affordable -- and so this recipe was born.
This recipe is really simple, so don’t be fooled by ingredients that may be considered specialty items at your local shop. It is nothing more than a heap of firey, garlicky vegetables atop noodles, so whatever inspires you to make that happen in your kitchen is a dinner I would love to share with you. If you want to follow the recipe as written, however, either take a trip to your local Asian market or head to a specialty market for a few choice ingredients, keeping in mind that dried noodles or broccolini would be as tasty here as what’s in the photo. Either way, you’ll end up with a fresh and satisfying bowl of vegetables and noodles, perfect for impressing your friends.
1/4? cup vegetable oil
1 ?pound firm tofu, pressed of excess liquid and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 ?pound Chinese broccoli or broccolini
4 ?garlic cloves, chopped
2 ?tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
5? ounces mushrooms, such as beech
1 ?tablespoon chili garlic sauce
8 ?ounces fresh or dried udon noodles
As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way.
Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.
Photo by Caroline Wright