Ingredients: Chinese soup noodles, TVP (textured vegetable protein), broccoli, bean sprouts, onion, scallion, carrot, wood ear mushroom, soy sauce, corn starch, palm sugar, fermented tofu, garlic, ginger, dry vermouth, cooking oil, sesame oil, black pepper, salt.
Pondering what to do with a package of Chinese soup noodles led me to this dish, which was very tasty. It’s a fairly basic vegan stir-fry on top a “nest” of fried noodles.
I made the nests first. I boiled the noodles, chilled them in ice water to prevent them from mushing up, and dried them thoroughly in a salad spinner. Then I heated up plenty of cooking oil in my wok and fried individual portions of the noodles into solid masses. Although I wanted form birds’ nests, ultimately I had to settle for lily pads. They tasted great anyway.
For the stir-fry, I soaked some meaty TVP and seared it along with garlic, ginger, and onion. Then I tossed in sliced carrots, cubed broccoli stems and florets, and wood ear mushrooms (which I had rehydrated along with the TVP). Toward the end of cooking, I added fresh crunchy bean sprouts and sliced scallions. For the sauce, I mixed together water, soy sauce, corn starch, mashed fermented tofu, dry vermouth, palm sugar, sesame oil, and a bit of salt & pepper.
Combining the noodle nests with the stir-fry was a big hit. That transitional phase when something crispy gradually becomes saucy is such an amazing texture.