Speedy and I, we’ve become somewhat vegetarian. Not for health considerations but for convenience. Although vegetarian dishes require more preparation, cooking time is so much shorter. And there’s no temptation to cook more than we can consume for a single meal because vegetable dishes just don’t reheat as well as meat dishes. So, we cook more often which translates to freshly cooked food for each meal. Not bad at all. We like the variety, there are practically no rotting leftovers in the fridge to throw out, and I feel better not having to be in and out of the kitchen for hours while simmering meat to make sure the liquid hasn’t dried out and the meat is already scorching in the pan.
Once or twice during weekdays, we have fish with our vegetables. Fish head soup, mostly, in one form or another. That’s my weakness. I love fish head. And when Alex is home on weekends, we go carnivorous. It’s like waiting all week for a treat and then devouring the treat with gusto.
What does it feel like — this drastic reduction of meat from our diet? One noticeable change is that my digestion is more efficient probably because of the higher fiber content in our food. Our grocery bill has gone down a bit. Not all that much, really. Contrary to some notions, a vegetarian diet is not really cheap. Some vegetables, including fresh mushrooms, are expensive. And we do consume a lot of milk and cheese. Good enough reasons to give up meat entirely? No, definitely not. We love our lechon kawali and grilled chicken too much. I don’t mind giving up beef entirely but not the occasional pork and chicken.
So, do meatless meals always mean stir fries or soups? No, that’s just the thing. The deeper we go into a semi-meatless diet, the more I discover that there are so many ways to cook without meat that I never dreamed possible. This noodle dish, for instance. As plain as it may look, it is so rich in flavors. Similar to the cold soba noodles recipe in the archive, this noodle dish benefits tremendously from the addition of garlic, ginger and a little bit of chili.
Inspired by a recipe from Simplyreem.
Sweet ginger and garlic noodles
- 100 grams dried flat rice noodles , prepared according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoons ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoons garlic grated
- a dash of Sriracha (or your choice of hot sauce)
- a dash of sesame seed oil
- ground black pepper to taste
- toasted sesame seeds toasted
- 2 tablespoons scallions sliced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro snipped
In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, Sriracha, sesame seed oil and pepper. Taste. Make the necessary adjustments to suit your preference. If you want the sauce sweeter, add more honey. If you like it a but saltier, add more soy sauce.
Place the prepared noodles in a large bowl and pour in the sauce. Add the sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro. Toss to combine. Serve.
Note that this noodle dish tastes even better if allowed to sit for an hour or so. If you have the time, toss the noodles with the sauce and let sit for a while. Toss in the greens before serving.