Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sasha's Kitchen: Asian-Style Shirataki Noodles with Chiles and Cashews

My husband is a type 1 juvenile onset diabetic, so I try to cook with minimal sugar when I am making savory meals (as opposed to baked goods).  I've really been enjoying Top Chef Sam Talbot's cookbook, The Sweet Life, which caters to those needs and has some delicious and fun recipes.  One thing I've been doing more of lately is using agave nectar in savory meals instead of sugar where I can.  This recipe uses shirataki noodles, a light tofu based noodle that looks a bit like lo mein noodles.  They're healthy - no carbs, gluten free, vegan, sugar free you name it - plain good for you! From there you can go and make a whole slew of creative dishes.  For my first time using shirataki noodles I made a recipe from Talbot's cookbook for Asian-style shirataki noodles with chile and cashews.  I used one jalapeno instead of two to make a little less spicy.  Be careful with those jalapenos.  Wash your hands and don't touch your lips, face or eyes before doing so - it can burn!

Shirataki Noodles with Cashews and Chiles (adapted from Sam Talbot's The Sweet Life)
2 packages (16 oz total) shirataki noodles (no need to cook)
3 T toasted sesame oil
1 large red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 T finely chopped fresh ginger
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 T sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet
2 T rice vinegar
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp sambal oelek chile paste
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup cashews, whole or chopped
1/3 cup hand torn cilantro
2 T low sodium soy sauce

Rinse the noodles in cold water and drain well.  Mix with two tablespoons of the sesame oil to keep them from sticking together.  In a large skillet heat the  remaining two tablespoons of sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and sesame seeds and cook until the onions are translucent and the mixture is aromatic, about three minutes.  Add the vinegar, agave nectar and chile paste and mix well.  Add the broth, cashews, cilantro and soy sauce and cook another two minutes to mix the flavors.  Pour the sauce / broth over the noodles and let rest a few minutes before serving.

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