As dinner time approaches, instead of reaching for a takeout menu, why not try making your own stir-fry at home? This recipe combines both dried and fresh vegetables, producing exceptional flavors married together and absorbed by bean thread noodles. This was a big hit in our household and you too can recreate the magic of an Asian takeout dish right in your very own kitchen.
I would like to thank the folks at Williams Sonoma for this earthy-tasting and nutritious vegetable stir-fry recipe. In regard to the vegetables being cut on the bias, this simply means cutting on the diagonal. To do so, hold the vegetables at a slight angle to the knife and then slice. Bias cuts are often used in Asian stir-fry for chopping. Cutting vegetables this way makes them easier to eat – plus, it makes your food look a bit fancier!
6 Dried Chinese Black Mushrooms
1 1/2 Ounces Dried Bean Thread Vermicelli Noodles
1/4 Cup Dried Lily Buds (Optional)
1/4 Cup Dried Ear Mushrooms
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Cloves, Garlic, Sliced Lengthwise
1/4 Head Green Cabbage, Cut Into 1- Inch pieces
1/4 Pound Green Beans, Trimmed and Cut on the Bias into 1 1/2 – Inch Pieces
1 1/2 Cups Small Cauliflower Florets
1 Carrot, Peeled and Cut on the Bias into Thin Slices
1 Tablespoon Preserved Red Bean Curd or 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
1 – 1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Soaking the Noodles
In a bowl, soak the black mushrooms in enough water to cover them. Soak until softened, about twenty minutes. Remove the stems and discard. Next, cut the caps into 1/2 inch slices and set them aside.
In another bowl, soak the noodles in warm water and cover; soak until they are soft and pliable. This should take twenty minutes. Drain.
Using kitchen scissors, make three or four cuts in the pile of noodles and then set them aside.
Preparing the Lily Buds and Mushrooms
I chose not to use lily buds, but if you decide to, follow these steps. Place them in a small bowl, add warm water to cover, and then add enough warm water to cover them. Let soak until softened. This should take about five minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess water. Next, cut off the hard root ends and discard. Set the lily buds aside. If you are using the tree ear mushrooms, place them in another bowl and add warm water to cover. Let them stand until they are tripled in size, for about five minutes. Drain and rinse off any sand or grit. Set them aside.
Cooking the Vegetables and Finishing the Stir-Fry
For the next step, the recipe calls for the use of a wok over medium-high heat. I used a large pan instead and everything turned out fine. Add the oil and garlic and cook until the garlic is nice and golden for about thirty seconds. Add the black mushrooms, lily buds, and tree ear mushrooms, and then toss and stir for thirty seconds.
Next, add the cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, and carrots and toss and stir for one minute. Next, push the vegetables to the side and add to your wok or pan and add the preserved bean curd or oyster sauce, one cup of water, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and noodles, and toss with the vegetables. Cover and let simmer until the vegetables are tender/crisp, the noodles are tender and plump, and the liquid is totally absorbed. this should take three minutes. If you find that the mixture becomes too dry before the vegetables are cooked, simply add more water.
Make sure to serve nice and hot, but no worries – this stir-fry will keep well in the fridge for leftovers.