Vegan Yum: Sesame Garlic Scape Noodles by Terry Hope Romero
In a new series from Ecorazzi Eats where we feature veg*n recipes from top chefs and food bloggers, Terry Hope Romero – author and co-author of bestselling vegan cookbooks like Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World – shares with us this yummy recipe for Sesame Garlic Scape Noodles.
And yes, we realize that summer is over – but this recipe will be just as delicious now too!
It’s summertime and a young woman’s thoughts often turn to cold sesame noodles. At least they should for a nourishing, lip-smacking lunch or light dinner that’s easy to embellish with the crispest, freshest produce of the season. I’m enjoying this greener twist on the old classic now that NYC’s hot, muggy, sweat-in-your-eyelids summer is blasting in full effect. 99 degrees in the shade don’t mean a thing when there’s a classic Chinese-style sesame peanut sauce embellished with the sweet, garlicky goodness from aboost of green garlic scapes.
Garlic scapes are the pungent, thick and twisting flower stems of garlic and are a common spring and early summer sight wherever local grown garlic is sold. You’ll probably have to scout around a farmer’s market or farmstand for these gems, but properly stored (dry and in plastic bags in the veggie bin) they will last for weeks. If you can’t locate garlic scapes, use one or two fresh garlic cloves instead. To use, clip off the flower bud at the end and slice or break the steam into 2 to 3 inch pieces for easier slicing.
The other ingredient that makes the sauce for these sesame noodles authentic is Chinese sesame paste. Made from unhulled, roasted sesame seeds, grey-brown sesame paste is rustic, smoky and nutty compared to mild sweet tahini, its Middle Eastern cousin. Sure, you could use tahini, but it just won’t be the same. A touch of peanut butter, a pinch of 5 spice powder and an optional splash of hot black tea round out this punchy, piquant version of this classic noodle dish.
Shredded lettuce or Napa cabbage
Finely sliced green scallion tops or chives
Thinly sliced radishes
Finely chopped roasted peanuts
Toasted sesame seeds
Asian chili garlic sauce (Sriracha or sambal olek)
1. Pulse the sesame sauce ingredients together in a blender until creamy and smooth. The
sauce will thicken as it sits, so if you don’t use it within an hour you may want to thin it
slightly with more water or tea.
2. Arrange the noodles in a large, wide serving bowl. Dollop the sauce on top, top with
tofu matchsticks (or cubes) and scatter with handfuls of shredded lettuce or cabbage,
cilantro, scallions or chives, radishes, and peanuts. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds,
and drizzle generously with chili garlic sauce and soy sauce.
3. To serve, use tongs to toss the noodles with the sauces and toppings at the table and
pile into serving plates. Pass around more chili garlic sauce and soy sauce.