Sunday 26 September 2010

Rice Noodles with Orange

I have had a few bad experiences with rice noodles recently. I have tried using them in soup and they have been a soggy mush that falls apart within cooee of any fork. Sunday nights E makes scrambled eggs, Sylvia has her usual plain vegies and I make my own dinner. Tonight I decided to try rice noodles in a stirfry again and it was far more successful.

I made the stirfry while E sat with Sylvia in the highchair. She is restless at meal time these days. She loves to transfer her meal from bowl to bowl and throw it on the floor. If we persist some of it ends up in her mouth. Songs help to keep her from wanting to propel herself out of the highchair after her food. Her favourite song today was Miss Polly had a Dolly. She lets me know she wants me to sing it by cradling an imaginary dolly in her arms. Makes a change from Wheels on the Bus and Row Row Row Your Boat. But it makes it harder to follow a recipe or remember a recipe.

I can’t cook rice noodles in soup to save myself but they seem to work well for me in a stirfry so I thought it was worth recording what I did. I had a blood orange that I had cut in half and then didn't need while baking cake yesterday. So instead of just repeating my Fried Ginger Rice Noodles, I found an orange sauce for the stirfy. It was intended for soba noodles. Maybe one day I will be able to try it with soba noodles (which are every bit as much a challenge for me as rice noodles).

The rice noodles absorb flavours and dry out in that sticky slurpy way that I love. I could do with more vegies, especially the broccoli that has sauce clinging to the florets. It makes an excellent meal for a lazy Sunday that has been spent singing songs, reading stories and pushing Sylvia on the swings beside the railway line until she is distracted by a passing train.

I am sending this lasagne to Ruth of Once Upon a Feast who is hosting tthis week's, Presto Pasta Night (#183). I highly recommend you head over to check out all the pasta for some noodly inspiration!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Champion Crackers and Footy Food
This time two years ago: Pudla – for when your team lets you down!

Orange-flavoured Rice Noodles
Adapted from my Fried Ginger Rice Noodles and Martha Stewart’s Orange Dipping Sauce
serves 2

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp dark-roasted sesame oil
  • ½ onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1-2 carrots, cut into fine matchsticks
  • ½ packet dried flat rice noodles (180g)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • ½ green capsicum, slice in matchsticks
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • Sylvia’ s leftover veg and chickpeas*
  • 2-3 button mushrooms, sliced
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli paste
  • handful of spinach, shredded
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

*If you don’t have a fussy toddler to leave you leftover veg I would use a mixture of tofu and lightly steamed broccoli and peas. The tofu could be marinated in the orange juice,, mirin, tamari, rice vinegar and chilli.

Best to mix together orange juice, mirin, tamari, rice vinegar and chilli paste at the start but I didn’t. If I had tofu I would to give it a little time to marinate in these flavours.

Heat a frying pan or wok on a medium heat and add the oils. Fry the onion, carrot and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are almost soft. (Or if you are singing Miss Polly Had a Dolly over and over you may find yourself taking up to 20 minutes on a low heat!)

Meanwhile soak noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes until only just soft or as directed on the packet.

Add the ginger, garlic, capsicum and zucchini and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and leftover veg (or tofu/broccoli/peas). Stir one minute and then add drained noodles and orange juice mixture. Stir for a few minutes over med high heat til liquid has been absorbed.

I served mine with baby spinach and peanuts. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for the next day.

On the stereo:
Ruby: Killjoys


  1. Yum - this sounds very refreshing.

  2. Aww Sylvia sounds so sweet the way she lets you know she wants her favourite song! I find rice noodles fall apart very quickly too. Perhaps just putting them right at the last minute? I'm not sure!

  3. Looks like a nice fresh transition for this change of seasons we're experiencing! I like that there's just as much shredded greens as noodles in your photos. :-)

  4. I remember the first time I tried rice noodles--a total globby mess! Your dish looks really good, though (but I'd probably sub a regular orange for the blood orange--just can't eat those). Sorry to hear that Sylvia isn't so keen on eating these days, though!

  5. I *always* have trouble with the flat rice noodles turning into mush, but for some reason the round ones (in the fridge section) always work better!

    Hope Sylvia suddenly decides it's more fun to keep the noodles in the bowl... :)

  6. I always order rice noodles when I go to a Chinese restaurant. I like their white almost transparent color. I like yours especially since they are orange flavored.

  7. My trick with rice noodles is not boil and soak it just enuff time. It should feel slightly undercooked, so when tossing around, it will be just ok :).

    This orange flavour is fantastic!! I will have to try.

  8. oooh rice noodles are my favourite - but yes - it can be hard to stop them from turning to mush sometimes!

  9. Thanks Cakelaw - it was

    Thanks Lorraine - yes Sylvia is sweet for the first few times I sing the song :-)

    Thanks Cindy - yes it feels like my cooking is changing season right now

    Thanks Ricki - I used blood orange because I had one but any would do

    Thanks Hannah - must look out the round rice noodles in the fridge at the supermarket or the asian grocery

    Thanks Katerina - I rarely order rice noodles when eating out - they never seem to have enough veg for me - though I am partial to pad thai

    Thanks Anh - I soaked the rice noodle less time for this dish than I have when I have tried them in soups

    Thanks Lisa - yes rice noodles are so good when they are cooked well

  10. Feeding little ones is always a challenge. Good luck with it, and know that it does pass.

    Your noodle dish looks like just perfect for managing the situation. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  11. This looks like a tasty dish... inspires to me buy some flat rice noodles and try out this dish

  12. I like the combination of flavors in your orange sauce. And, yes rice noodles can be tricky. I've found a shorter soaking time helps, and as you did, quickly frying up.

  13. I LOVE the texture of rice noodles. I've never had them in soup so I don't have much advice for you on that front but they sound delicious in this stir fry!

  14. Aw I love the way Sylvia tells you that she wants you to sing miss polly had a dolly. I love stir fried noodles mmm. I don't think I've tried cooking rice noodles in soup. Maybe the trick is to just add them right before eating?


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)