I’ve tried to use rice noodles because they’re very popular lately. My P.S. (Pasta Slurper/hubby) and daughter say I should use them more often. I’ve usually ended up disappointed that they get mushy so easy. Basically you have to warm them in hot water and eat immediately. Do not run down to the basement fridge and get a can of soda before eating.
I was on an asparagus binge one week and wanted to use them in a pasta dish. It was a hybrid recipe I wanted to try. I’d read a recipe that used hot chili oil with pasta and cherry tomatoes and wanted to add asparagus in that mix. The tangy pop of a cherry tomato stir-fried in hot chili oil along with 1” pieces of asparagus sounded delicious.
Then I wanted a creamy base to a sauce for the pasta and decided to thaw two bottles of my homemade pureed asparagus soup for the sauce. That’s where I maybe should have changed to regular pasta instead of rice noodles. Those rice noodles can soak up sauce like a sponge! The result was soggy, but tasty. Next time I’ll use regular pasta.
I started by snapping the ends of my asparagus and cutting it into 1” pieces. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half and threw the asparagus and tomatoes into a nonstick skillet I’d heated to medium high with a drizzle of olive oil. I only fried it 2 or 3 minutes, not wanted them to be mushy. I added a little garlic powder and some black pepper and set them aside in a dish.
In the same skillet I poured the asparagus pureed soup, which was about 3 cups, and let it come to a bubble.
At the same time I brought a pot of salted water to a boil and threw in the rice noodles for a minute or two, then drained them into a colander. I should have run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking. That was my first error. My second error was to throw them into the asparagus soup and let them cook for a couple of minutes. You could almost hear them slurping up the liquid, it disappeared so fast.
Sigh. I stirred in some Parmesan, plated the pasta, and topped it with the reheated asparagus and cherry tomato mixture.
I did say it was delicious, with the asparagus soup and asparagus pieces. Asparagus two ways, as they like to say on the cooking competition shows. The hot chili oil added a touch of heat and the tomatoes were perfect with their little pop of acid to each bite.
I’d make it again and either use regular pasta or not cook the rice noodles and add them directly to the asparagus sauce for a minute maximum, then serve. Those rice noodles need to be eaten fast! I’m going to list the second choice in the recipe below.
I’m now wondering how they make dishes with rice noodles in our favorite Thai restaurant. Perhaps they drop the noodles in the bowls and the servers run out the door to our tables. I must pay closer attention to see if people are running in the restaurant.
Asparagus Rice Noodle Dinner
5 ounces rice noodles; dried
24 ounces asparagus soup
1/2# fresh asparagus; ends snapped off and cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; halved
1 teaspoon hot chili oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
12 teaspoon salt
½ cup Parmesan; shredded
In a skillet, drizzle oil and saute asparagus 3-4 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and cook another 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with hot chili oil, sprinkle garlic powder and salt, and stir well. Set aside in a bowl.
In same skillet, add soup and bring to a boil, reducing for several minutes.
Add dry rice noodles to skillet and stir to cover with soup. Add Parmesan and mix. Cook for a minute or two, until noodles are al dente.
Serve hot topped with asparagus and cherry tomato mixture.