Oodles of noodles

Last night I attended a cooking class at the Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center. You can read all about my previous cooking class adventures here:

Yesterday’s course was all about….asian noodles! I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I actually don’t like pasta. For a runner who lived in Italy for 4 months, I realize that this is bizarre. However, my distaste for pasta does not seem to carry over to asian noodles. I wouldn’t say that they’re my favorite food, but I certainly won’t turn down a good plate of pad thai 🙂

Our first dish of the night was Classic Pad Thai adapted from David Thompson’s Thai Street Food.

pad thai ingredients

We were grouped into teams of 4 and cooked our pad thai in a wok over high heat. Fun!

pad thai in a wok

pad thai

Yum! I loved the combination of chewy noodles, crispy bean sprouts, crunchy peanuts, savory fish sauce, and spicy Thai chile paste. And since all of the ingredients were from Whole Foods I felt confident that it was a quality dish. While we were cooking, someone mentioned that restaurants often use ketchup (instead of chile powder/tamarind paste) in their pad thai to save money and time. No thanks!

Next on the agenda was Pork and Shrimp Wonton Noodle Soup. The filling was a mixture of ground pork and chopped shrimp. As you know, I don’t eat meat all that often, but I make an exception for special occasions – like cooking classes!

pork and shrimp wontons

Ani and I had a blast making wontons. Note: Ani is sitting and I’m standing. I’m not a giant – I swear!!

Ani and Megan cook

After the class filled up a tray of wontons, we boiled them in broth and garnished with some spinach.

wontons!

Mmm, wonton soup is perfect for the chilly, wintery weather NYC has been dealing with.

wonton soup

Ready for more noodles? We’re not done yet! Our third dish was Singapore Curry Rice Noodles. This dish contained a good balance of carbohydrate (noodles!), protein (shrimp and pork), and vegetables (onions, scallions, and snow peas). Plus lots of antioxidant-packed curry powder!

Singapore curried noodles

Dish number four was a Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Lemongrass Grilled Pork. We arranged glass noodles, pickled vegetables, mung bean sprouts, romaine lettuce, grilled pork chops, and topped with a spicy chile dressing and chopped mint & cilantro. This was a very light and fresh dish – perhaps my favorite!

Vietnamese noodle salad

Vietnamese noodle salad

Our final noodle dish (dessert!) was perhaps the most interesting. We’ve all had rice pudding, but what about noodle pudding? This was different AND delicious, plus the recipe was super easy!

Toasted vermicelli milk pudding

Toasted vermicelli milk pudding

Toasted Vermicelli Milk Pudding adapted from The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cuisine by Yamuna Devi

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons of ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 cup fine vermicelli (or angel hair pasta), broken into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, slivered
  • 1/2 Tablespoon rose water (optional, but recommended!)

Directions:

  • Melt the ghee or butter in a heavy-bottomed, 5-quart nonstick pan over moderate heat. When it is hot, add the vermicelli and fry, stirring to ensure even browning, until the noodles turn a golden brown.
  • Pour in the milk, sugar, almonds, and pistachios and stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the pudding is slightly thickened and creamy. Cool to room temperature, add the rose water, and chill thoroughly. Stir well, then serve in individual bowls.
  • Note: raisins or another dried fruit must be a nice addition to this dish!

After sampling my way through the noodles of Asia, I left class with a full belly and a tupperware full of leftovers. Can’t wait to eat them for lunch today!

What’s your favorite type of noodle dish?

  • ani

    i really enjoyed the noodle puddin dessert more than i thought! that was a lot of fun & i was sooo stuffed! 😉

  • Wow, what an unusual dessert!!
    I’ve never really been out to a chinese or japanese, so I couldn’t say if I have a favourite kind of noodle dish!! I just know that the egg noodles I can cook with lots of soy and oyster sauce is delish – is that a dish!?

  • I came across your blog recently and love it! It’s so fun finding fellow NYC runners (and cookers/eaters) out there. 🙂

    And cooking classes at the Whole Foods on Bowery?! I am definitely going to check this out! Looks delicious!

  • what fun! i totally wanna take one of those classes sometime, once i magically acquire some dinero to do so.

    i’m not big on noodle dishes, but i enjoy peanut sauces from time to time. made a fab thai peanut soba tempeh dish once. trying to remember where i got the recipe – it was delicious.

  • Those classes look like so much fun! I must give one a whirl before I leave NYC. I’ll put it on my NYC bucket list.

    As for my favorite type of noodle, I’m going to have to go with soba. Yakisoba, in particular. There’s a Japanese supermarket (Sunrise Mart) on E9th Street that sells $0.59 yakisoba packets and they’re DELICIOUS. I relied heavily on them when I was really, really broke.

  • Was this a cooking class sponsored by Whole Foods? This is so cool. I need to check out whether we have this in the Boston area…

    I heart WF (minus the prices)…

  • Please don’t tell me you turned down pizza or gelato in Italy! That would be truly blasphemous! I love pasta, including Asian noodles. Have you ever had a noodle kugel? They’re sweet egg noodles with cottage or cream cheese. Mmmm.

  • I love pad thai and vietnamese noodle salads and would love to learn how to prepare those dishes…how fun that you took a class! Were they easy to make? I think I may have to look up some recipes!

  • I can’t say I ever tried noodle pudding before, sounds interesting! My current favorite type of noodle are brown rice noodles. I really like the texture, but always love whole wheat orzo too.

  • ahhhh this reminds me of the fabulous cooking class i took in thailand – all the yummy noodle dishes! i have to say pad thai is one of my faves – pad see ew is good to and cow pad sai pak (veggie fried rice) are good too!

    and that vermicelli noodle dish – heaven!

  • Ohh…you’re talking to an Italian girl here. But I’ll take the non-Paisan noodles too. The first time I had pad see-ew at a Thai place – basically wide rice noodles with broccoli and a sweet sauce – I thought I was going to die with happiness. In How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, there’s also this recipe for hot and sour braised tempeh with rice noodles and cabbage. It’s my go-to amazing Asian dish. And just basic soba noodles with dipping sauce…yum.

  • Jennie

    Hey there!

    Was sitting at the table next to you last night, somehow miraculously remembered the name of your blog! Love it! Great write up of the class…and I am a struggling new runner, so I’ll be back to visit your site.

    I gave you a shout out on http://www.socialworkout.com today. I borrowed your singapore noodle photo-hope that is a fair trade!

  • That’s funny that you don’t like noodles…I don’t think I ever met a noodle I didn’t like! haha! I love Pad Thai…so yum! 🙂

  • Kacey

    umm yum–everything looks delicious! I am a huge fan of Asian food–Vietnamese and Thai especially–so I’d have to go with rice noodles and glass noodles.

    My favorite faux noodle–spaghetti squash, either tossed with thyme and olive oil or topped with marinara sauce.

  • I’m glad to hear there’s another person out there who’s less than enthusiastic about pasta. It’s much less interesting to me than whatever happens to be served with it.

    Even though I’ve been known to flat-out refuse to eat, say, fettucini alfredo, I love Asian noodle dishes, especially soup! There was a noodle place in Boston I used to go all the time with my sister that I still miss sometimes!

  • WOW so jelous of that dinner girl! i adore pasta-its good with everything and anything!

  • Oh my gosh, Asian noodle dishes are my weakness! What a fun class

  • Pad Thai with ketchup is blasphemous! Yours looks so yummy. I’m glad your distaste for noodles does NOT carry over to Asian ones. They’re way different (in my opinion).

    Oh man, I have so many favorite noodle dishes, but there’s one from Taiwan that’s really good (and I can’t find it as often in the States) called mee suan. It’s kind of sticky and goopy and you can put pork or oysters in it. So good.

    I’m coming back to your blog more to drool over your food 🙂

  • I love pasta toppings but couldn’t care less about the noodles themselves. It was a happy day when I discovered spaghetti squash. What a cool class that seems!

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE pasta. For about the first 15 years of my life ( I was THE pickiest eater….how that’s changed) I practically lived off of ravioli.

  • Have you tried pho? It’s so good! Favorite noodle dish for sure but pad thai comes in a close second.

  • Hey I wanted to let you know that I recently tried a KIND bar (I think I read about them on your blog in February?). I tried the almond/coconut one – fantastic. I wanted to eat another! We’ll see how full it keeps me this morning…but I was so glad I tried it.

    Tomorrow I plan on trying the Larabar…

  • That food looks so great–I’ve always wanted to do one of those Whole Foods Cooking classes! I would love to do a thai-themed class, too!

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  • i love to eat asian foods because they are tasty and spicy.*,’

  • what i love about asian foods is that they are always tasty and spice..*

  • i find asian foods to be a bit spicy compared to italian foods:.-

  • the best asian food that i tasted comes from Thailand:”‘

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  • of the asian foods that i tastes, japanese foods and thai foods are the tastiest stuff ,;~