A julienne peeler is an ace little kitchen gadget.
Much cheaper than a spiralizer, less washing up than a food processor, and safer than oh-so-dangerous feeling mandolin. Said peeler will set you back just a few quid, and if you can’t find one in your local supermarket or kitchen shop, try eBay or Amazon. But enough of my sales pitch.
Julienned, or as I prefer to call them ‘noodled’ veggies mingle nicely with pasta like spaghetti and linguine or all manner of asian noodles, falling in with their ribbon-like folds. In fact, there’s a trend in non carb eating circles for using the noodled veggies on their own in place of carbohydrates like these.
Not sure whether this turns carrots in to ‘carrottis’ or courgettes in to ‘courgettis’, but the long veggie strands take little time to cook and soak up the flavours paired with them really easily. To keep them from getting soggy with sauce, I like to make the sauce separately and pour it over the finished dish at the end of cooking for the maximum fresh flavour.
Follow my recipe below for the aromatic sauce I made here, or mix up your own based on what you have in your cupboards, remembering to try and strike a balance of sweet, salty, sour and hot based on your personal tastes. I chose mirin (for sweetness), black rice vinegar (for tart spice, it’s a little like Worcestershire Sauce), rice vinegar (for acidity), soy (for saltiness), ginger and garlic (for aroma and warmth) and oyster sauce (for body and sweetness).
And with all my wanging on about sauce and peelers I haven’t mentioned the broccoli, which for me is one of the best bits...
I love how its tops absorb the sauce and its crunch as it’s eaten, and for a bit of a change here I decided to blanch it and cook it on the griddle first. The char bars help give it extra flavour in the stir fry as well as making it look nice, and if you cook a big batch of it all in one go, it keeps well in the fridge for a few days and makes a great addition to wintery salads or being blitzed up to make griddle cakes or latkes.
Crystal or glass noodles prepared as per pack instructions and drained, ready to use. If you can’t find crystal noodles (mung bean noodles) you could use any kind of noodle — skinny rice noodles would be closest to these in texture.
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 large courgettes, peeled and julienned
- 1 red pepper, finely sliced
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 broccoli head cut in to florets and cut through each floret
- 50ml mirin
- 50ml soy
- 50ml black vinegar (or if you can’t find it, 1tsp Worcestershire Sauce)
- 50ml rice vinegar
- 100ml oyster sauce
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 large thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- Fresh sliced red chilli and coriander to serve
- Oil for frying
- Blanch your broccoli for 1 minute in boiling water then rinse and drain. Heat your griddle until super hot and cook the broccoli florets on it for 2 to 3 minutes each side before turning, then set aside.
- In a small pan on the hob add the liquid ingredients, garlic and ginger and on a low-medium heat bring to a simmer.
- In a wok add a few tablespoons of oil and heat until very hot, rolling the wok around to coat it with the oil.
- Add the onion, and after a couple of minutes add the red pepper, a few minutes later add the carrots and cook for another minute, then add the broccoli and courgettes and cook for another couple of minutes, and finally add the noodles and mix to combine, cooking for a few minutes until the courgettes have softened (but not broken up), the carrots are slinky and the noodles hot.
- Remove from the heat and pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables, mixing together carefully. Serve with a few toasted sesame seeds sprinkled over the top, the coriander and chopped chillies.