These brown rice noodles are fantastically light (not heavy like most brown noodles and pasta). Highly flavored and combined with shiitake mushrooms plus bok choy, this dish is a healthy low-fat treat when you find yourself craving noodles or pasta.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 eggs (vegans can omit the eggs, or substitute 1/4 cup soft tofu)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce)
- 4 tablespoons oil (as needed for stir-frying, divided)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 to 2 fresh red chilies (minced)
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 4 tablespoons white wine (or sherry for stir-frying; can substitute broth)
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms (sliced or a mix of mushrooms)
- 2 cups bok choy (chopped into squarish pieces or strips; separate white stalks from leaves)
- 1 (7-ounce) package brown rice vermicelli noodles (like "Mama" brand made in Thailand)
- 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (black or white)
- Garnish: 1/2 cup fresh coriander
- Garnish: lime wedges
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the broth (if making it from cubes, simply mix the cubes with boiling water in a glass measuring cup or bowl).
Add the eggs and stir until the yolks break and cook (more or less dissolve) in the broth.
Stir in the fish sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, or soy sauce. Set aside. If using tofu, stir the soft tofu into the broth as you would with eggs.
Place a wok or large frying (it should be quite deep) over medium-high heat. Add 1 to tablespoons oil and swirl around. Then add the garlic, chili, and cooking onion. Stir-fry 1 minute, or until fragrant. Whenever the wok/frying pan becomes dry, add a tablespoon of wine/sherry or broth instead of more oil.
Add the mushrooms and continue stir-frying another 2 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened.
Add the "whiter" pieces of bok choy and stir-fry another minute or two, until softened.
Now add the broth-egg (or broth-tofu) mixture you made earlier, plus the bok choy greens, stirring to combine.
When this soup-like mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium and add the noodles. Don't worry if the noodles look as if they're just "floating" on top. Using your spoon or spatula, press them down into the broth, then gently turn them over and do the same with the other side. Gradually they will soften down into the hot liquid and separate.
As the noodles soften, continue to turn and mix them over medium heat using a tossing motion (almost as if you were tossing a salad) until all the broth has been absorbed. Do this gently, as the noodles are very thin and tear easily.
When all the broth has been absorbed (after about 5 minutes), turn off the heat and add the bean sprouts and sprinkle over the black or white pepper. Again,"toss" the noodles to mix these ingredients in.
Taste-test the noodles. If they need more salt, sprinkle one more tablespoon of fish sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, or soy sauce over noodles and toss to combine. Do this until desired taste is achieved.
If too salty for your taste, squeeze 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice over noodles and toss to combine. (Note: the saltiness of your noodles will depend on how salty your broth was to start with, so you may have to adjust accordingly.)
To serve: portion out the noodles onto individual plates and top each with a sprinkling of coriander plus a wedge of fresh lime, or heap all the noodles onto a large serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and add lime wedges around the sides. If desired, serve with Thai chili sauce on the side.