Vegan sesame Sichuan-inspired noodles

4 servings Prep: 10 mins, Cooking: 25 mins By Jess Bunn
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Ingredients (28)

CHILLI OIL
1 cup oil
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp Sichuan chilli — (crushed) or smoked chilli flakes
1/4 cup smoked chilli flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
VEGAN MINCE
canola oil — a drizzle
200 g aubergine — diced into 1cm cubes
250 g brown mushrooms — diced into 1cm cubes
40 g dried shiitake mushrooms — soaked in water until soft
1 tbsp garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp mirin
1-2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chinese five-spice powder
SAUCE
1 tsp garlic
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cup chilli oil
1 1/2 tsp Sichuan chilli
TO SERVE
400 g tenderstem broccoli — or pak choi
340 g dried egg noodles
1/2 cup peanuts — chopped
3 spring onions — finely sliced
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Method:

For the chilli oil:

Place the oil, star anise, cinnamon, and crushed Sichuan pepper into a small pot then turn the heat to medium.

When the peppercorns start to sizzle, let them cook for a minute then remove the pot from the heat. If you have a cooking thermometer, ensure the oil heats to 160⁰C, before turning off the heat. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes.

For the mince:

Prepare your veggies as directed.

Place a pan over a high heat, add a drizzle of canola oil, then add your brown mushrooms. Fry until starting to soften.

Remove the dried shiitake from its soaking liquid, reserving the liquid, then give them a rough chop and add to the brown mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until golden, shrunken and a little crisp. Place the mushrooms into a bowl and wipe the pan with some kitchen towel.

After 10 minutes, place the smoked chilli flakes, sugar and salt into a bowl. Pour the warm oil over through a sieve to strain off the cinnamon, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns. Discard the items in the sieve. Allow the chilli oil to infuse while you prep your other ingredients.

Drizzle a little canola oil into your pan and return it to a high heat. Add the aubergine and stir fry until golden.

Once golden, add the mushrooms back to the pan then add then mirin, hoisin, 5 spice, soy, ginger, garlic and shiitake soaking liquid.

Cook everything down until the liquid evaporates and the mixture starts to stick to the pan. Taste the mixture for seasoning and add the remaining soy if needed.

Remove from the heat and keep warm until needed.

Cook your noodles until al dente, according to the packet instructions. Stir fry your broccoli or pak choi until done to your liking, seasoning with a pinch of salt.

Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.

Divide the sauce, noodles, veggies mince and greens between 4 bowls. Toss everything together with a pair of chopsticks, then garnish the dish with peanuts and spring onions.

Serve immediately while hot.

Reprinted with permission from The Culinary Cartel. For more recipes, check out their website or follow on Instagram.



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