Hearty Healthy Noodle Recipes
Red Curry Peanut Noodles
Whole-wheat spaghetti is one of Melissa Rubel Jacobson's favorite pastas because it is a good source of fiber and has an appealing chewiness. Here, she updates sesame noodles, a Chinese take-out classic, by giving the peanut sauce a hit of fiery red curry paste.
Crispy Tofu with Noodles
Pino Maffeo deep-fries tofu in tempura batter, then garnishes the finished dish with lily buds. At home, bread the tofu with panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and stir-fry in a wok. Skip the lily bud garnish.
Soba Noodles with Dashi, Poached Egg and Scallions
Chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, California, and an F&W Best New Chef 2006 creates a quick but flavorful broth using kombu (a type of seaweed) and dashi powder (an instant Japanese stock made from shaved bonito—tuna flakes). He poaches eggs in the broth and serves them for a protein-rich lunch or even breakfast.
Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro
Garlicky, spicy and bright with lime, this noodle dish is both warming and energizing, according to Thai tradition. Just don't skimp on the lime wedges or cilantro: "The sour juice protects the respiratory system in the early spring," Su-Mei Yu says, "and cilantro helps when you're congested."
Rice-Noodle Salad with Chicken and Herbs
Bubbly drinks in all their forms, from sparkling wine to fizzy ginger beer, inspire an effervescent bubble party. Pair them with a cool Vietnamese-style noodle salad tossed in a bright (and fat-free) citrus dressing.
Crisp Asian Salmon with Bok Choy and Rice Noodles
Patrick Dunlea was booted off Top Chef Season 5's first episode because his salmon and bok choy were lackluster and his black-rice noodles were mushy. Gail Simmons amps up the broth with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic and uses white-rice noodles instead of black (they're easier to find), cooked briefly to keep their texture firm.
Asian Pork, Mushroom and Noodle Stir-Fry
This stir-fry calls for succulent pork tenderloin, shiitake, bok choy and chewy noodles—either Japanese curly noodles (available in the international aisle of supermarkets) or instant ramen.
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
The Chinese have considered the shiitake a symbol of longevity for thousands of years; recent research shows that it's a great source of iron and antioxidants. Here, Nichole Birdsall adds the mushrooms to a soulful recipe passed on to her by her grandmother. "It's a comfort thing. If I need to feel a family connection, I make that soup," she says.
Cellophane Noodle and Vegetable Salad
This refreshing, crunchy salad combines a slew of nutrient-rich ingredients, including carrots (for vitamin B6 and beta-carotene) and mung bean sprouts (for iron, folate and potassium).
Pan-Seared Sichuan Shrimp with Mung Bean Noodles
This spicy noodle dish is terrific with a glass of Orval. The Trappist ale, Sang Yoon says, has an unusually light candied-orange flavor that's delicious with the citrusy Sichuan peppercorns flavoring the plump shrimp.
Sizzled Clams with Udon Noodles and Watercress
Chef Pino Maffeo prepares this dish with thick, fresh egg noodles and hot chile oil, which are both house-made. We replace the house-made noodles and hot chile oil with supermarket ingredients.
Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken
This delicate, Asian-influenced chicken dish will go best with an equally delicate white—anything full-bodied and rich will taste clunky and coarse with it. Try a good-quality Pinot Grigio. Many of them have almost no taste, but the best from Italy combine graceful melony fruit with bright, lively acidity.
Spicy Shrimp and Cellophane-Noodle Salad
This combination of zingy herbs, cool noodles, grilled shrimp and spicy dressing makes a fabulous, easy dish. Plus, it can largely be made ahead of time, then put together just before serving. Squid or chicken are delicious substitutes for the shrimp.
Steamed Fish with Mushrooms and Noodles
At the Seattle restaurant Monsoon, this dish is prepared with dried, reconstituted lily buds and wood ear mushrooms. Here the fish and noodles are fragrant and delightful without the hard-to-source lily buds and with white mushrooms instead of wood ears.