Tallarín Saltado (Stir-Fried Noodles)
Recipe and photo contributed by Morena Escardó
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Next time you're about to make the usual pasta dish that gets you out of trouble when you're in a rush, you can use this recipe instead to bring some Asian flair and excitement to your kitchen. Tallarin saltado is Peru’s version of a Chinese noodle stir-fry, and it is traditionally made using Chinese egg noodles, regular vegetable oil instead of the coconut oil that I use here, as well as regular soy sauce, and chicken or beef stock. In Peru, you will most likely find this dish made with either chicken, beef, shrimp, pork, duck, or a mix of any of them. This vegan and gluten-free version is a great way to lighten up this sometimes-heavy dish and make it a part of your regular diet.—Morena
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated ginger
1 baby bok choy, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 white onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons organic gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ tablespoon potato starch (optional)
½ cup snow peas, cut in half lengthwise
4 scallions, green and white parts, cut in ½-inch pieces
10 ounces organic firm tofu, cut in ½-inch cubes
9.8 ounce bag brown rice ramen noodles, or any noodles of your choice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Bring a pan of water to a boil.
- While the water is heating, melt the coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan set over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, bell pepper, and onion, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked but still bright and slightly crunchy. Add a little of the salt and the pepper.
- Combine the stock, tamari, vinegar, and potato starch in a bowl. Add it to the bok choy mixture along with the snow peas, scallions, and tofu. Keep cooking and stirring until the sauce looks glossy and thickens a bit. Check again for seasoning, and add some more salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.
- Quickly cook the noodles in the boiling water. This should take around 3 minutes, but follow the package instructions. Strain in a colander and pour the noodles over the stir-fried vegetables and tofu. Mix everything well, and sprinkle with cilantro, and serve hot.
- Peruvians add potato starch to the sauce to give it a gravy-like consistency. You can skip this step if you prefer.
- This dish can easily be turned into a soup by adding more vegetable stock or water to the pan, and reducing the amount of noodles by half.
- Instead of tofu, you can use sliced mushrooms (portobellos work well).