Delicious & Easy

Seasonal Veggie Stir-Fry with Rice Stick Noodles

Submitted by Thi Vo

Cook the Cover 2023 recipe finalist.

This dish is a crowd-pleaser that my mom, Mai Tran, makes year-round. The recipe is a staple in my family because we are able to switch out our proteins and veggies depending on the season and the audience we’re serving. Vegetable ratios can be adjusted based on taste! Feel free to swap out any vegetables you don’t like.

This recipe originally published in issue 71.

Ingredients for

Seasonal Veggie Stir-Fry with Rice Stick Noodles

1 packet rice stick noodles*

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4–6 medium cloves garlic, diced

7 ounces tofu** (half a package), 1⁄4-inch dice

3 bell peppers, thinly sliced

1 small or 1⁄2 medium cabbage, thinly sliced

1 shallot (or 3 green onions), thinly sliced

1 cup bean sprouts

1 teaspoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce, or more to taste

2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1⁄2 bunch garlic chives, chopped to 1-inch pieces

1 small bunch choy sum, chopped to

1-inch pieces

*Find rice stick noodles at any Asian store or online, or substitute with glass noodles, fresh rice noodles, Pad Thai rice noodles, or even angel hair pasta.

**My family gets pre-fried tofu at our local Viet supermarket/deli. Or substitute with your choice of protein. My mom uses shrimp when making it for a party.


Instructions for

Seasonal Veggie Stir-Fry with Rice Stick Noodles

Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions.

While the noodles are cooking, wash and chop the veggies, and soak bean sprouts in cool water for five minutes. The cooking process goes fast, so having everything chopped and ready to go is important.

Make the garlic oil: To a large-sized cold pan or wok, add olive oil and chopped garlic and turn the heat to medium-high.

Cook the garlic until near golden (about 3 to 5 minutes) and remove from heat. The residual heat will keep cooking the garlic to a deeper golden color. Transfer oil along with garlic to a bowl, and set aside to use the garlic oil through the cooking process.

Fry the tofu: Add 1–2 tablespoons of the garlic oil back to the pan and set to medium-high or high heat, add diced tofu, and stir-fry until the tofu turns golden (approximately 5 minutes). Add more olive oil if needed. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Stir-fry the veggies: Add 1–2 tablespoons of garlic oil to pan on high heat. Add bell peppers, cabbage, shallots, and bean sprouts, or other hearty vegetables you may be using. This is your chance to season to your taste. Add the sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of vegetarian oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. After tossing the veggies with the sauces and seasonings, allow the vegetables to cook on high heat for 5 to 7 minutes before adding in garlic chives and leafy parts of the choy sum. Cook until the veggies are to your liking—for crunchier veggies, stop cooking sooner. Remove veggies from wok or pan and transfer to bowl.

Stir-fry noodles: Add the remaining garlic oil and garlic bits into the pan on medium-high heat and add the drained rice stick noodles. Add more olive oil if needed. Stir-fry the noodles until the noodles are no longer soggy from the soak, 5 to 6 minutes. Season the noodles with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss. Add all the veggies back in and toss again. Remove from heat as soon as it’s all well combined as over-tossing can make the noodles turn mushy. Add the tofu and stir gently to avoid smashing it. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Enjoy.

Recipe as tested by Alicia Pivirotto-Pearlman

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