A few months ago, my wonderful friend, Andrea, brought me some herb plants from a farm that she had been working at. From among her fragrant green loot, I was particularly excited about the Thai basil plant, which has since blossomed with some pretty awesome purple flowers. I really love Thai basil’s slight liquorice-like anise flavour and it always reminds of eating spicy basil noodles from one of my favourite Thai/Vietnamese restaurants in Oakville, Ontario, the suburbs where I spent much of my (ongoing) formative years. I’ve no doubt mentioned this before, but noodles are huge comfort food for me, so I was really looking forward to trying this stir-fry dish out. I think it turned out fairly good. It’s a pretty simple dish; it reminds me of the Asian stir-fries I used to make daily when I first started cooking for myself.
One more thing about my pal, Andrea: she’s a seriously great writer who actually just published a little interview with me about veganism for our friend’s online publication, ‘Monsters vs. Me.’ Read the interview here. Thanks, buddy!
125 grams rice noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 large green pepper, cut into chunks
8 to 10 cremini mushrooms (can use white button mushrooms too)
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons tamari (or other good quality soy sauce)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp water
Big handful of Thai basil, sliced thinly
1/2 cup roasted cashews, unsalted
3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 green onion, sliced
1. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Set aside for later. Don’t overcook them; mushy rice noodles are the worst.
2. In a wok or a very large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the garlic, ginger, and onion. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion is beginning to soften up, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the green peppers and mushrooms. Sauté for another 3 or 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir together and cook for another minute.
4. Add the water, basil, and cashews. Stir together and cook for another 2 minutes, until some of the water has boiled off. Add the sesame oil and rice noodles to the wok or skillet and heat through for a minute, mixing everything together. (If the rice noodles are all stuck together in your strainer, just run them under warm water for a few seconds before adding to your veggies).
5. Garnish with the sliced green onions.
Serves: 2 to 3