Rice Cakes with Peanut Sauce and Hoison

I bought a large bag of Asian rice cakes for another recipe, but I only ended up using a third of the bag. While looking for something to do with the remainder, I found this New York times recipe for pan fried rice cakes and bok choy. The recipe is written for cylindrical rice sticks, but says you can slide rice cakes instead. Slicing these rice cakes was awful and took forever. I ended up resorting to a pizza roller after trying a few different knives.

I’m not sure if the rice cake/rice stick swap was the problem, but my dish did not look like the one in the picture. Instead of nicely browned individual rice sticks, the rice sticks kind of merged together and stuck both to each other and the pan. A cast iron pan or nonstick pan is a must for this dish. Instead of making the peanut sauce in the recipe, I just used leftover peanut sauce from gado gado that I had in the freezer.

The recipe had a great flavor and even though the rice cakes turned into a rice cake clump, I enjoyed their chewy texture. I thought the bok choy needed to be cooked for a minute or two longer. I also found the recipe really benefited from chopped peanuts on top to add a bit of crunch. This was unusual, but oddly good. And it seemed to get better with time. I’d make it again, but would try the rice sticks next time.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1022726-rice-cakes-with-peanut-sauce-and-hoisin

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Rice Cake Soup with Bok Choy and Edamame

I’ve recently started getting the courage to experiment a bit with eating low fodmap beans, after avoiding them for the past 6 months. According to Monash University, people eating low fodmap can actually handle a small serving of edamame. This recipe for rice cake soup with bok choy and edamame was my first foray into eating edamame again. The recipe calls for asian rice cakes, which are squishy and can be found in the refrigerator aisle of Asian grocery stores. Very different than the crunchy American rice cake. I’d never heard of these before, but found them easily enough at my Asian market.

The recipe says that the boiled cakes will make the broth creamy. My broth was a little creamy, but not as much as shown in the picture on the New York times site. I cooked the leek whites in the oil and tossed them out, then used the greens in the soup.

One thing I learned is that these cakes don’t really work if you cook like I do, cook once and eat leftovers all week. The cakes absorbed most of the broth and the next day I no longer had soup. I wasn’t crazy about the flavors in this recipe. Still, this recipe might be a lot better if you use leek whites instead of leek greens, so I’ll reserve judgement. I did like the texture of the cakes. I enjoy gummy foods. If you don’t, these aren’t for you. I’m going to tr yto find another recipe to use the rest of the cakes left in my fridge.

Soy-Braised Tofu with Bok Choy

I had a bunch of bok choy left over from another recipe and was looking for something fast to make for dinner. I found this recipe for soy-braised tofu with bok choy. The recipe says it takes 20 minutes to make. On a hungry weeknight, that sounded perfect to me! I adapted the recipe to make it low fodmap by cooking the garlic and scallion whites first separately in oil and then tossing them out. Because I added this step, the recipe took my closer to 30 minutes, but was still relatively fast and easy. Also, since spicy foods make me sick, I used only 1/4 tsp of doubanjiang (reluctantly since I love doubanjiang). Since doubanjiang is very spicy, the dish still had a bit of a kick to it. If you don’t like spicy foods, but want a little sizzle, definitely cut the doubanjiang in half.

This was very tasty and as easy as billed. The tofu was so good! My main objection was that there wasn’t enough veggies. I’d double the bok choy next time. I might also add some baby corn, since that makes everything better.

Rice Noodles with Egg Drop Gravy

A few weeks ago I was prescribed an antibiotic. I react really badly to antibiotics; I usually get nauseous and lose my appetite while I’m on them. While I was taking the medicine, I could only get myself to eat pasta and oatmeal. The week after, I started to regain my appetite, but was still only eating light soups etc. I found this recipe on New York Times when I was looking for something soothing to help me transition back to regular food. It was pretty easy. I think it would make a great weeknight recipe.

I added about 1.5 cups of broccoli along with the other veggies in the recipe, which seemed like the exact right amount. Because the noodles and gravy are made separately, you can keep them separate in the fridge and eat this as leftovers without the noodles going mushy. I used the wrong type of noodles though. The recipe calls for thick rice noodles. I used medium rice sticks. (the kind used for pad thai) They formed a mass when fried and were hard to pull apart immediately after cooking. As leftovers they were impossible to pull apart and I just had to chop them up. Next time I’d use a much wider noodle like shahe fen, chow fun, hor fun, or sen yai. You have to do a lot of stirring and scraping while frying the noodles to prevent them from sticking to the pan, but the flavor is great. I really liked the flavor of this dish. I thought it was just a tad too sweet. Next time I’d use 3/4 tsp sugar instead of 1 tsp. Make sure to be very careful to pour the egg very slowly. It’s easy to mess that part up. As you can see in the photo, I didn’t pour slowly enough and ended up with clumps of egg instead of strands.

Toasted Coconut Rice With Bok Choy and Fried Eggs

This is a super easy one pot recipe. And it’s totally low fodmap to boot! The recipe is made in layers so everything cooks the right amount of time. I made the dish at the beginning of the week, but just made one egg at a time as needed. I think this is a great basic recipe and I love the one pot idea, but the ratios were off. There was too much rice for the amount of veggies or eggs. I would double the amount of veggies. I also think this recipe probably calls for 5-6 eggs instead of 4.

I liked this and didn’t mind eating it all week (after adding more veggies) but I felt like the flavor was a bit on the bland side. I’d like to take this idea and play with it to add some complexity of flavor.

Sweet and [Not] Spicy Tofu With Soba Noodles

Apparently I’ve been on a bit of a noodle kick lately. This recipe was appealing since it offers a non-salad way to use fresh cucumber from my garden. This dish was alright, but I’m not sure if I liked it enough to make it again. I halved the sugar, but still found it a bit too sweet. The only thing spicy in the dish was red pepper flakes. I left those out since I’m avoiding spice. Maybe they would have balanced the sweetness a bit more. I also added pan fried tofu for protein.

Tomato Salad with Cucumber and Ginger

Since my garden is overflowing with cucumbers and tomatoes right now, I’ve been looking for salad recipes to keep up with the onslaught. This very simple Asian salad recipe seemed promising since it would use both veggies as well as my end-of-season basil.

Indeed, this was a real winner. After the mushy cucumber disaster of the cucumber avocado salad, I just made the dressing ahead of time and chopped the cucumber and tomato I needed for a single meal. This strategy worked well. I used Thai basil, which was quite yummy as well. I added Marinated Asian Tofu from Veganomicon to make this a meal. And voila! A very simple tasty fresh lunch was born. I’ll definitely make this again next summer.

Marinated Asian Tofu

I’ve had Veganomicon for years, but had never tried the marinated Asian tofu recipe, since I assumed it was baked. However, recently I noticed that the recipe actually called for either grilling the tofu or making it in a skillet. I haven’t experimented much with skillet-made marinated tofu, and it was the high heat of summer, so this caught my eye.

I was honestly thrilled with this recipe. The marinade came together really fast and I was able to just stick the tofu in it and leave it in the fridge overnight until I was ready to cook it. In some cases I’ve left the tofu in the marinade for days. It seems the longer it marinades the better it is. Then when I’m read to make it, I just throw it in the pan and ta da- delicious marinated tofu with very little effort. I made this with Pan Seared Summer Squash with Garlic and Mint for my neighbors and my neighbor discovered it made a delicious pho-type sandwich. Generally, I consider this one of my new stand by dishes. All around winner.

Cold Noodles with Tomatoes

It’s cherry tomato season in my garden. So when I saw this recipe in the New York times for a cold noodle soup with oodles of cherry tomatoes, I was intrigued. I added marinated Asian tofu from Veganomicon to add some protein.

The soup was very easy to make, but underwhelming. I didn’t like the flavor of the broth, though I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with it. I won’t make this again.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

It’s the time of year when my garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I made this impromptu salad and brought it to a communal dinner. It was quite a hit and I enjoyed the leftovers the next day as a snack.

1/2 inch piece of ginger, graded

3 cloves garlic, pressed or grated

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

3 large shallots

4 medium cucumbers

2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, oil, salt, and vinegar.
  2. Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise, thinly slice
  3. Thinly slice the shallots
  4. Combine and vegetables
  5. Add the sesame seeds.
  6. Let sit for at least an hour before serving.