Sunday, June 3, 2012

Green Tea Noodle and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Savory Tomato Crisp

Weekend Highlights:

1. The best way to start June is to visit the Farmer’s Market.

2. Making vegetable broth from scraps (broccoli stalk, onion stalk, woody asparagus stems, 2 inch nub of fresh ginger, 2 smashed cloves garlic, rosemary sprigs, pinch of salt).

Bring 6 cups of water and the vegetable scraps to a boil in a covered pot over medium heat. Once it boils, turn the heat to medium low and continue to boil, uncovered for a couple more minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool. Using a strainer to catch the scraps, pour the broth into storage containers and store in the refrigerator. Use within 5 days.   

3. Apartment hunting… we may be moving to a nicer place for a really good deal! Scary, exciting, necessary… maybe this should be a go. Maybe? Yes? Ugh, decisions!

4. Senior graduation yesterday! Graduations are always bittersweet… this was how I felt during my own graduation ceremonies and this is how I feel every time I go to my students’ graduation ceremonies. Go forth and conquer the world you guys, live your dreams! Keep your bright smiles and face life with optimism, learn how to stand when you fall, and be a Sun wherever you go.

5. Buying and using a cast iron skillet “…for the very first time, like a ~~~…”

6. This dinner from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. Recipe share coming up this week.

7. A “quadrathlon” workout for 2 hours: running-yoga-weight lifting-walking.    

8. A cake mishap… it tastes great, it just did not come out right. So much for experimentation and playing around with ingredients. *Sad.*

9. Writing blog posts ready to go up sometime this week.

10. This week’s Food Matter’s Project recipe, Savory Tomato Crisp, chosen by Nicole of The Giving Table. Visit her blog for the original Mark Bittman recipe. While you are there, make sure to check out her other posts, Nicole’s blog is very educational and is full of great content (e.g. hunger, information about canola oil, animal welfare, food trends, and so on). Also, do check out other FMP members’ take on this recipe at our website.

I was skeptical about the recipe at first because I was not sure what to eat it with. However, after two days of mulling and foraging for ingredients in the refrigerator, something finally formed, notes were taken, and all that was left to do was cook.

The savory tomato crisp was great… there are no other words to describe it better than the title. The tomatoes were indeed savory and the crumbs added a really nice crisp. My favorite part was the big pieces of burnt garlic!   

The tomato crisp added brightness and crunch to the noodle stir-fry. In itself, the stir-fry was very flavorful. Really you can’t go wrong with mixing together basic Asian sauces. My only advice is to not use too much coconut oil. I overestimated and used 2 tablespoons, which seemed too oily for me. DFJ liked it just fine though, but I still say definitely use less than 2 tablespoons.  

Savory Tomato Crisp
Adapted from Mark Bittman, The Food Matters Cookbook

1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz grape tomatoes, halved
¼ tsp cornstarch
3 pinches of salt
freshly ground pepper
slice of burnt toast, chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup rolled oats
slightly less than ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 pinches salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Move oven rack to middle position then preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix together olive oil, tomatoes, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a small baking pan (I used a cake pan). Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together chopped toast, oats, walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Top this mixture over the tomatoes.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

As soon as the tomatoes come out of the oven, give it a quick stir until the topping is just mixed in with the tomatoes. Serve warm.

Great with eggs, in crepes, or as a side to another vegetable dish or pasta.   

Green Tea Noodle and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Green Tea Soba Noodles:
2 cups vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
2 cups water
leek stems (the dark green part)

Stir-fry Sauce:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp hot chili paste
¾ tsp fish sauce

Vegetable Stir-fry:
1-1½  tbsp coconut oil (I used 2 tbsp and that was too much)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped (include stalks, they add a nice crunch)
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper

Pour vegetable broth and water in a medium pot. Throw in some dark green leek stems and let boil. When the liquid is boiling, put one bunch of green tea noodles in the pot and cook for about 5 minutes. Using a strainer, drain the liquid and set the noodles aside.  

While the liquid is boiling, prepare the vegetable stir-fry.

In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the garlic until golden brown. Throw in the leeks and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add in the bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Toss in the bok choy and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the sauce and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the burner and move pan away from heat.

Toss the noodles into the vegetable stir-fry pan and serve warm.

Top with warm savory tomato crisp and enjoy!

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a great week everyone!


  1. Margaria,

    You are creative. I wouldn't have thought of that but the crunchiness does sound like it might go well with the soft noodles.

    1. These are fantastic recipes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got a little carried away and added a seaweed salad I like to make to the noodle dish. It is incredible! The tomato crunch is pretty incredible edible wonderful stuff (I love tomatoes! I also added a little parmesan to it too...) I just find now that I make both "methods" of tomato crunch it's also so good in soup too! I tend to just drink the broth...sans sodium (bummer).

    2. i'm glad you liked these recipes! :) what is in your seaweed salad? i'm curious!

  2. I love how you combined an Italian-esque dish with one with more Asian flavors. Fusion at its best!

  3. What a clever combination. I want to make the crisp again just to try it on a noodle dish.

  4. This is such a neat idea! I've never thought of adding green tea to savory dish before. Great blog!

  5. Hy sweetie! love your blog! wanna follow each other?:X

  6. Hi Margarita,
    This is a fantastic idea. Love this dish.

  7. What a great combination! We had last night's leftover crisp with eggs tonight. Good!

  8. I would love to try green tea noodles, sounds so exotic :-) Oh apartment hunting can be scary. We will be moving in the fall too. I need help packing though haha

  9. I think I have green tea noodles at home, so I might give this a try sometime this week. I am trying to use up as many things as possible before moving.

  10. What a great way to mix to delicious meals together! I often worry that things won't taste as good- I think I just need to take the plunge!

  11. Wow. I can't believe how you find the time!
    Also, I am very jealous, I really wish there was a farmers market around where I live.
    And the cake looks good! I would eat it. I love playing around with ingredients.

  12. I love fusion food. It promotes what's best from different ethnic food! Great dish Margarita!


Let me know what your thoughts are... Your comments always make my day!