Monday, March 28

cheap eats [miracle noodles and furikake]

From my last kick of cooking asian cuisine, I came across two new ingredients I wanted to share. The first is furikake, a salty, umami-filled Japanese seasoning (I had to watch this pronunciation video to learn how to say it: it's FYUR-eh-cake). It's usually sprinkled over meats, veggies, seafood and the like, and is made of sesame seeds, dried and ground fish, chopped seaweed, sugar, and salt. Don't knock it 'til you try it- I know dry ground seafood powder doesn't sound appealing, but it's delicious, particularly on rice. Plus I think it looks great, yes?

The other ingredient is Shirataki, a Japanese product commonly called "miracle noodles" since they are zero calorie. Made from a type of yam, they are odorless and pretty much as boring as you can get for a product. They are vegan and gluten free, and contain almost no carbohydrates. They are great to help fill you up, and can be easily added to soups and stews or used to make noodle or rice dishes, like Pad Thai (here's a great recipe for that).

I think The Kitchn did a great intro post about shirataki, in case you want to learn more. The only bowl of them I've had is pictured above, in rice form: see the white little grains? I didn't have enough brussels sprouts left to constitute a full dinner, so I cooked up some shirataki to go with it. I felt perfectly fine before and after. While I wouldn't recommend making them a daily staple, they can be a thoughtful addition: they take sauces and other flavors well, and cook up in just a few minutes. I ordered a variety pack through amazon, and am looking forward to trying it in other forms.

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how you like dem apples?