Fragrant mung bean pasta
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
Here’s a different take on stir-fried Asian noodles, tipping the balance hugely in favour of fresh vegetables and using a new pasta made from edamame and mung beans which has made me think differently about noodles. At 43 per cent plant protein I’ve come to see it as tender fettuccine-shaped protein strips. As a bonus it’s practically impossible to overcook.
I start by tossing it in a pan with a little bit of oil until lightly browned (to build flavour), then add the prepped veges in sequence starting with the ones that take longest to cook. Leaving the spinach and mung sprouts until right at the end keeps them full of life and goodness. As well as garlic, there’s a full teaspoon of ground black pepper which adds a rich warm punch. Pepper has a unique character and we often overlook it. Fennel and star anise work well together, they’re a key part of Asian five spice mixes. I like to use sesame oil as a condiment, drizzling a little over at the end to add another layer of rich aroma.
The topping is like a fresh crunchy version of sweet chilli sauce, with beetroot for sweetness, plus salt, vinegar and chilli flakes — similar flavours but without all that refined sugar. As a weeknight one-bowl meal this ticks all the boxes for me: loads of flavour, full of healthy veges and great as leftovers.
Explore Asian edamame and mung bean fettucine is available from selected supermarkets, speciality food stores and online at ceres.co.nz
Sweet chilli topping
- Cook the pasta in 1 litre of rapidly boiling water to which you’ve added 1 tsp salt and the ginger. It will take about 6-8 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a few minutes.
- While the pasta cooks, mix all the sweet chilli topping ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge.
- Get the coconut oil hot in a big heavy pan, then add the cooked pasta and salt. Fry for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the carrot and cook for a minute or two until hot, stirring frequently. Add the courgette and capsicum plus a tablespoon of water to create steam, and cook another couple of minutes until piping hot. Add the spices and garlic followed soon after by the spinach and mung bean sprouts. Cook another minute or two until the spinach starts to wilt, then remove from heat. Just before serving, drizzle on the sesame oil and mix it through. Serve the pasta with sweet chilli topping and fresh sprouts