Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black Rice Noodles

Unfortunately, this photo doesn't do justice
to just how lovely they look.
I found these black rice noodles at the Korean store, and I couldn't resist buying them. As the name indicates, they're made from black rice, and they have that same beautiful rich, deep, dark color. They were just begging me to take them home.

I've never made or even eaten black rice noodles before, so I just made up my own recipe. Basically, I just boiled the noodles, drained them, rinsed them with cold water, and set them aside.

Next, I steam-fried various veggies I had on hand in white wine until they were tender-crisp. Then I added a sauce to the veggies. If you have a stir-fry sauce you like, you could use that. Or you can make your own. For the sauce, I mixed:

  • Water (You could substitute broth)
  • Soy sauce
  • Mirin (Rice cooking wine, optional)
  • Minced garlic & ginger
  • Raw evaporated cane juice (Any sweetener you like is fine)
  • Sesame oil (just a teeny-weenie-tiny bit for flavor since I'm trying cook oil-free. However, the Asian side of me is having a hard time giving up sesame oil)
  • Cornstarch (This thickens the sauce)
  • Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste. I added less than teaspoon -- just for a little zip. You could use a little cayenne or just leave it out entirely)

Once the sauce came to a boil and cleared, I added the noodles and mixed it all together. You could garnish with chopped scallion or basil or cilantro.

As you can see, once the noodles cook up, their color lightens considerably, but they are still rather exotic looking. Unlike the flat Southeast Asian rice noodles that become super soft when heated, these noodles were a bit chewy, which I like. They also have a sort of nutty flavor -- they kind of reminded of me of wild rice, even though that's not really a rice.

Overall, I really liked these noodles. I have a couple bundles left, so noodle soup may be on the menu tonight. Then it will be back to the store for some more!

Have you ever made/eaten black rice noodles? What's your favorite way to cook them?


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