This is another recipe from The Artful Vegan. You can’t pick this book up when you get in from work and start cooking from it, but if you plan carefully and get organised you can produce some stunning results.
I’d looked at this recipe before with lust, but hadn’t been able to get my hands on any kimchee. I’d thought about making my own but hadn’t got round to it. Then, when I was in a shop in Nottingham faced with a fridge full of it, of course I couldn’t remember why I’d wanted it. There were lots of different types too, but I grabbed a jar anyway, confident I’d find a use for it. I was delighted when I remembered this recipe, and even more so that I was off work yesterday and found all the other ingredients I needed too.
The recipes can look a bit overfacing, especially when you realise that quite often an ingredient in the list is actually another recipe. This one however, was quite straightforward. I decided not to use the marinated tempeh, even though I had a batch in the freezer. I just couldn’t see how the Italian flavours from the marinade would work with the rest of the dish, so I just used plain tempeh instead and don’t regret it for a minute.
I made the BBQ sauce in the afternoon and that set the scene because it smelt beautiful. I bunged the tempeh straight in it so that it had a few hours to marinate. Then I made the noodle salad. The recipe suggests rice, soba or udon noodles. I had all three in the house but I opted for soba because we don’t eat them often. The other ingredients in the salad are cucumber, kimchee, grapefruit, orange and lime segments, bean sprouts, spring onions, coriander, lime juice, tamari and sesame oil. Supreming the citrus fruits was a lot harder than chefs make it look on the telly but I got there in the end. I also had some fun playing with my new spiraliser (actually it’s not new but it was the first time I’d used it). It took me a while to work it out but it produced some beautiful strips of cucumber and I can’t wait to use it again.
Then I got the garnishes ready, heated the grill for the tempeh, and cooked the pak choi. While the tempeh was under the grill I plated up the noodles, then arranged the tempeh and pak choi, the extra citrus pieces and finally the sesame seeds and coriander.
So how was it? Well, needless to say it was nothing like the sort of food I normally cook. It was bursting with fresh zingy flavours which exploded in my mouth. The spicy, smoky BBQ sauce went perfectly with the citrus and spicy kimchee. And, like everything else I’ve made from this book, each part could be made on its own and used elsewhere – so I could use the BBQ sauce as part of another meal, or the noodle salad would make a great lunch on its own.
If you’re intimidated by this book and haven’t used it much, I urge you to dust it out and give it another chance. If you get yourself organised you can get stunning results.