Saturday, October 29, 2011

MoFo Mystery Picture the Twenty-Eighth + Dan dan noodles

This little item went beautifully translucent under my bright lights!

And I had Bryanna Clark Grogan's Dan dan noodles for supper last night.  I've posted about these before, with a version of the recipe that's online but taken without credit from her Authentic Chinese Cuisine.  This is one of my go to recipes--I make it often and absolutely love it.  If you're fast-moving and well-prepared, you can have this meal ready in 20 minutes or so.

This time, instead of using the dried mushrooms and white onions the recipe calls for, I used red onions and those adorable little beech mushrooms:

Why they don't sell these everywhere I can't imagine!  Click for a closeup ;-)
The red onions turned the TVP-based topping a gorgeous colour:

...and here it is in all its glory, resting on soba noodles in a bath of peanut-butter infused vegetable broth!

So good!  It looks like a lot of food, and it is, but this is a single serving, and, all-inclusive, has only about 500 calories, according to the book.  Actually, though, it's less, because I took a couple of shortcuts to lower the fat:

1.  If you're cooking dishes involving frying something that also call for a drizzle of sesame oil, like this one, you can actually stir fry in the sesame oil and just leave out the initial frying oil;

2.  I buy the "natural" type of peanut butter which is just 100% peanuts with no additives.  This tends to separate in the jar, so some of the oil floats to the top.  Instead of stirring it in, I pour off this oil, save it, and use it for cooking and salad dressings.  This oil is delicious, and gives a light peanut flavour to a dish.  You may ask, doesn't that make the peanut butter at the bottom of the jar get all hard and tough?  A bit, sure, but have you ever tried that stuff on toast?  It's like peanut butter fudge!  I do the same with almond butter...

As for yesterday's mystery picture, to my surprise, many of you did get it--this one would have stumped me, I think: it was indeed corn silk:


  1. I'm a bit stumped by this mystery item. I want to say dried fruit (papaya?) but now I'm starting to think my default is always dried fruit! That can't be right!

    I love that cookbook too but somehow seem to have stuck to just a few of the recipes. I need to branch out, and this one looks like a good place to start!

  2. I go with dried fruit - I guess it's an apricot.

  3. I'm going out on a limb and guessing agar agar. I'm always wrong so no biggie if I'm wrong again. Your dinner looks way better than the one I'm planning tonight. And the mushrooms — perfect little things, aren't they?

  4. I don't know about the mystery photo, but that noodle dish looks so sumptuous.I'm so glad I have BCG Authentic Chinese cookbook, I'm making this soon!