Indonesian-Style Vegetable Stew with Rice Noodles

Asian rice noodles

Characteristic of certain Indonesian vegetable dishes are colorful vegetables (in this case, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and bell pepper), this stew is enveloped in a rich, spicy peanut sauce and embellished with rice noodles. This has so much going for it that you need only a simple salad to complete the meal.

Serves: 6

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup natural-style peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4-ounce bundle fine Asian rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small fresh hot green chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium broccoli crown, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into narrow 2-inch strips
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

Combine the rice noodles with enough hot water to cover in a heatproof container. Let them soak, covered, for 20 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the noodles, then transfer  to a cutting board and chop in several directions to shorten.

While  the noodles are soaking, heat the oil in a wok or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.

Add the broccoli and carrots with just enough water to keep the mixture moist. Turn the heat up and stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green. Add the cauliflower and bell pepper and continue to stir-fry, adding a bit of water from time to time to keep the mixture moist. Last, add the bean sprouts and stir-fry gently until the sprouts are slightly wilted.

Pour the sauce over the vegetable mixture, then gently stir in the cooked rice noodles. Add more hot sauce and/or soy sauce to taste (or just pass them around for individual servings), cook for another minute or two, then serve.

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