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Old 08-12-2019, 06:30 AM
carlb is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palmetto Bay, FL
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Noodle dishes with things mixed in - how?


Sorry, couldn't really come up with a better title.

I love noodles in every form, and in general, the simpler the better. A decent quality noodle with a sauce of some kind and I'm a happy camper (cacio e pepe, dan dan noodles - hell, even just simple buttered egg noodles are good with me). But, occasionally I want to make something that involves more substantial food items mixed in with the noodles, and I can't figure out how to do that well.

Like yesterday, I was making a cold soba noodle salad. I boiled the noodles, and when they were just at the perfect temperature, pulled them out and rinsed them in cold water. At that point I tossed them with radishes and mint and ended up with...a bunch of noodles with almost all of the vegetables at the bottom of the bowl.

Same thing happens with a lot of stir fries. No matter how much I keep the pan moving, no matter how often or vigorously I flip the food, I still end up with a clump of noodles and every other ingredient at the bottom or periphery of the pan; not mixed in with the noodles.

I have, on a few occasions, had moderate success by using my hands to mix everything together, but that's obviously not possible in a wok. Lately, I've just accepted that this will never work out, so I concentrate on getting any sauce well-incorporated with the noodles, and then plating such that the noodles are on the bottom of the dish, and everything else is layered on top.

So - what am I doing wrong, or not doing, or whatever? I'm a decent home cook, but this is a skill that has eluded me forever and it's kinda starting to bug me. Any tips?
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:37 AM
elbows is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14,398
I think you’ve got it right actually. I’ve noticed something similar. When they make street noodles in Asia they then, pile on top, any unincorporated veggies, just as you’ve described, right before serving.

A couple of things that help is to shorten the noodles a bit, and make the veggies a bit smaller. So chop snap/snow peas in half, instead of trying to get them to mix in whole.

My issue is if you’re making three servings, how to get an even distribution of things, so one person doesn’t get all veg and another all meat! I expect it’s all in the plating!
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