I love taking meaty recipes – and making them meatless!
This month’s issue of Cook’s Country had an interesting recipe for Spicy Sesame Noodles with Pork . . . so I decided to simplify it and make it meatless!
For my meat analogue, I chose Gardein’s Porkless Bites.
I’ve used Porkless Bites in the past, but this time I threw away the sauce packet, and just focused on how I could improve the product’s taste, look, and texture.
First of all, you need to use Porkless Bites straight from the freezer . . .
I sautéed them in sesame oil for about 8 minutes, and then added soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha hot sauce, and dry sherry and let the sauce cook down for about 3 more minutes so that the liquids reduce and the flavors blend . . .
Then, I let the saucy Porkless Bites cool for a couple of minutes, and then cut them into smaller pieces . . .
Instead of using plain white spaghetti like the original recipe suggested, I used a mixture of two kinds of organic spaghetti – white and whole wheat . . .
I simplified the process, changed the sequencing, reduced the number of ingredients, and eliminated the complicated process of creating homemade Sichuan Chili Oil.
The result? An easy vegan weeknight meal that was spicy – but not too spicy – and had a unique interplay of interesting flavors.
Do you have a favorite sesame noodle recipe? If you do, I’d love to hear from you. If you don’t have your own favorite sesame noodle recipe, please try mine!
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 12-ounce package Gardein Porkless Bites (frozen)
- 1 tablespoon tamari (I like San-J low sodium tamari)
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha Hot Sauce (I like Ninja Squirrel Sriracha)
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon salt (for the pasta water)
- ½ lb. organic whole wheat spaghetti
- ½ lb. organic white wheat spaghetti
- 1 cup hot pasta water
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (divided use)
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean Chili Sauce) (I like the Chung Jung One brand, which is vegan and gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced (divided use)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
- ½ cup raw organic cashews, toasted
- Heat a large non-stick skillet, add the sesame oil, and sauté the frozen Porkless Bites for 8 minutes. Add the next four ingredients (tamari, hoisin sauce, Sriracha, and dry sherry), and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Turn off the heat, and let the saucy Porkless Bites cook in the skillet while you prep the other ingredients. When the Porkless Bites are cool, move them to a cutting board and cut into smaller pieces.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the tablespoon of salt. Return to a boil and add both kinds of spaghetti. Cook for 11 minutes, remove one cup of the hot pasta water, and pour the hot pasta water into a medium bowl. Drain the spaghetti in a colander, and return to the still warm pasta pot. Add 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil to the drained spaghetti, and toss to coat. Put the lid back on the pasta pot to keep the spaghetti warm.
- Into the bowl of warm pasta water, mix in the tahini, tamari, sherry vinegar, sugar, Gochujang sauce, and hoisin sauce. Mix well, and set aside.
- Returning to the now empty skillet, turn the heat back on, add the remaining tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, and sauté the garlic, 6 of the sliced scallions, red pepper flakes, and crushed Sichuan peppercorns. Sauté for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Remove the lid on the pasta pot, and add the tahini mixture, and toss well to coat. Add the chopped Porkless Bites and the contents of the skillet; stir. (Add a bit more hot water if the sauce seems too thick.)
- Put the saucy noodles into bowls, sprinkle with the remaining sliced scallions and cashews.
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