Noodles have always been big in my family, so I love the idea of enjoying long noodles for the New Year. Technically, it’s a Chinese New Year tradition, but we carry it over as a symbol for longevity on January first, too. This year, I’m trying a new recipe for Indonesian Noodles from The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook by Robin Robertson. This dish isn’t just symbolic for well being, it also helps to ensure it, since the recipe is packed with healthy ingredients!
Indonesian Noodles made High in Protein, Plants, and Nutrition
“How do you get enough protein?” This is easily one of the top 5 questions vegans receive. I even get it from people when they ask about being dairy free! Fortunately, there are plenty of protein-rich, plant-based foods, and Robin showcases them in her latest collection, The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook.
Asian noodle dishes tend to be higher in carbs, but Robin makes this recipe with loads of vegetables, and protein-rich peas, peanuts, and tempeh for a more balanced meal. Tempeh can be tricky for some of us, but Robin makes it seamless with a quick braising technique.
Braising tempeh in liquid helps mellow the flavor of the tempeh and makes it more digestible. I always braise tempeh before using it in recipes. If you’d like to add more flavor, sauté the tempeh first in a little oil with some chopped onion and garlic, then add the water and tamari and simmer.
Robin uses various simple cooking techniques and a wide range of flavors to keep meals interesting and to help work more protein and plants into your diet. In a pinch, you can substitute tofu in these Indonesian Noodles, but tempeh does add that extra layer of flavor and nutrition.
Special Diet Notes: Plant-Based Indonesian Noodles
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, tree nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 8 ounces (225 g) rice vermicelli (or use cooked ramen or cooked spaghetti)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) avocado oil
- 8 ounces (225 g) Braised Tempeh (see below), cut into ½-inch [1 cm] dice
- ⅓ cup (70 ml) tamari (gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ cup (130 g) creamy natural peanut butter
- ⅔ cup (140 ml) low-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other Asian chili paste (depending on how spicy you want it)
- 1 teaspoon natural sugar
- 1¼ cups (295 ml) water
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 6 cups (420 g) chopped bok choy
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- ½ cup (50 g) chopped scallions, white and green parts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup (134 g) frozen peas, thawed
- ¼ cup (35 g) chopped unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons (8 g) minced fresh cilantro
- Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well and rinse.
- Heat the water in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the tempeh and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the tamari and cook until the tempeh is browned on all sides. Remove the tempeh from the skillet.
- In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, lemon juice, sambal oelek, sugar, and the remaining 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (64 ml) tamari. Add 1 cup (235 ml) of the water and process until smooth.
- Heat the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) of water in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, bok choy, carrot, scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the peas and the reserved tempeh. Add the reserved noodles, stir in the sauce, and simmer until the noodles are hot and well coated with the sauce.
- Serve garnished with peanuts and cilantro.
This recipe is reprinted with permissions from The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook: Supercharge Your Body with More Than 85 Delicious Vegan Recipes Made with Protein-Rich Plant-Based Ingredients by Robin Robertson.