The fiancee and I came off a week of a raw food diet the other day. A cleanse to undo the damage we did eating all the luscious stuff over the holidays. It was good. Surprisingly, really good actually. Very tasty, which is the most important element of eating any food. Of course, tasty to us and the average for most people might be substantially different considering the range of what we usually eat, but the truth is, when you bring a balance of flavors to the table it really can be dramatic.
That’s what my adaption of Vietnamese bun, which is a cool noodle salad. It was designed to use up the extra cabbage from our week’s meals. We have a wonderful curry dish (I need to check and see if we’ve posted it yet) but since that was already done the salad was the next best option. Cabbage includes fiber, folate, calcium, potassium and vitamins A, C and K, phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and more and despite the often touted “side effects” does a whole lot of good and when allowed to partially marinade it splits the difference between the typical versions of cold slaw and Sauerkraut. Kombu is a dried kelp but variants are used throughout a number of Asian foods which has a wide range of health benefits and some “side effects” too.
Most likely though you recognize the rest, we did and as I was shredding extra veggies on the mandolin I stumbled across this as an idea and got amped super fast. So I took apart the recipe (that includes animal proteins, fish sauce, etc.) and made the concept my own. Speaking of the fish sauce, my version is combining rice vinegar, vegetarian Worcestershire, molasses and some spices and a little finesse to coax out a similar balance in flavor profile when the whole thing comes together.
cyenne pepper or other finely ground pepper of your choice
fresh cracked pepper
finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
wide rice noodles
shredded napa cabbage
thinly julienne carrot
thinly julienne zuchini
thinly julienne crooked neck yellow squash
thin cut onion (red)
sesame seeds, flax seeds or other small seeds
large mixing bowl
small mixing bow
cast iron skillet
in a small mixing bowl combine equal parts rice vinegar and olive oil and combine equal part molasses and vegetarian Worcestershire so the aprox values are 4:4:1:1
microplane equal parts garlic and ginger and the peppers and house seasongins so that it’s aprox values are 4:4:1:1 in the same small mixing bowl
Thoroughly rinse and dry the seitan and then use just under 1/3 of the mixture to marinade it
Combine the cabbage, carrot, zuchini, yellow squash, onion, basil in the large mixing bowl and toss with just under 2/3 of marinade
Place the kombu in the stock pot with lightly salted water and allow to steep at a low boil
Place the rice noodles to cook in the kombu pot until cooked to package instructions, you can drain off the water and make a personal choice to keep or remove the kombu
cool the noodles, make sure to ensure the don’t stick, I do that by using the left over marinade and tossing to coat and then placing in a cool place like the fridge for a few minutes
while the kombu noodles are cooking and cooling you may choose to quick sear the seitan, I do so over a screaming hot cast iron skillet to give them good marks and then immediately cool in a bowl in the fridge.
Toss the noodles the veggies and the seitan and your small seed mixture and serve cool