You’ve conquered the ethnic foods aisle at your neighborhood grocery store and you want more—more variety, more fun, more choices when it comes to cooking dinner. But when you hit the noodle aisles at Uwajimaya (Chinatown–International District, 600 Fifth Ave. S; 206.624.6248;uwajimaya.com) it’s hard not to panic. They’re endless. With the help of the noodle-buying team at “Waji’s,” our friends at Seattle Magazine combed the store’s four (!) noodle aisles for the best fresh, frozen and dry brands, and concocted easy ways for experienced home cooks to use the noodles for weeknight dinners. The recipes are designed for people who are comfortable with approximations. There’s everything from a warm Korean-inspired beef bean-thread noodle bowl to quick sesame soba for kids, to a lip-smacking rich pork-neck ramen. They’re not claiming authenticity here—just giving you a few new ways to explore Seattle’s most famous Asian grocery, one delicious, inexpensive dinner at a time.
1. SHIRATAKI (Japanese yam or tofu noodles)
Buy: Shirakiku (white yam noodle), $2.49, refrigerated
Seen in: Grocery carts of women who have been told by Dr. Oz that they should make their Italian favorites with these fibrous (zero-calorie, zero-carb!) yam noodles (or their new relatives, tofu shirataki)
Recipe: Quick green curry noodles
Drain and rinse noodles (don’t mind that fishy smell—it doesn’t kill the experience once they’re swathed in curry), then simmer sliced carrots, onions and/or mushrooms in a mixture of coconut milk (a full can) and Thai-style green curry paste until soft. Add shrimp, tofu, pork or chicken and noodles, and simmer for a few more minutes. Shower with chopped cilantro and lime juice before serving. Serves 1–2.
2. KWAY CHAP (rice flake noodles)
Seen in: Thai recipes, such as pad kee mao or the northern Thai noodle dish guay chap
Buy: Golden Pak, $.99, dry
Recipe: Rice flake pad see ew
Pour boiling water over the noodles in a bowl, let soften 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then drain. In a hot wok, separately stir-fry, in a few tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil and garlic: 1 head chopped broccoli, one egg, thinly sliced raw pork shoulder or loin. Set each aside as you work. Sauté noodles in wok until they curl, then add cooked ingredients back in. Season to taste with soy sauce, a splash each of rice vinegar and fish sauce, salt, pepper and/or chili sauce. Serves 3–4.
Find the complete list of easy noodle dishes over at Seattle Magazine.
This is our weekly guest post from our friends at Seattle Magazine, which keeps readers on the pulse of restaurants, personalities, arts, entertainment and culture that reflect the tapestry of our dynamic landscape. We’ve teamed up for an exciting partnership to bring you a weekly dose of fantastic Date Night ideas throughout greater Seattle.