Friday, April 14, 2023

Cooking with Blobby

After today's entry, I'm stepping away from pasta dishes for a few. Of the last four segments here, three have been pasta-related. I love pasta, but you know........variety. They just tend to be easier for week night cooking. 

Just think - in a few weeks, I can do more grilling things. I suppose I could now, it's just unpredictable. 80 F yesterday, but chance of flurries next week. 


But San Francisco-Style Vietnamese American Garlic Noodles sounded good. There aren't a ton of ingredients and the prep time is reasonable. So, let's get to it. 

Yield: 4 servings 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
20 medium garlic cloves, minced or smashed in a mortar and pestle 
4 teaspoons oyster sauce 
2 teaspoons light soy sauce or shoyu 
2 teaspoons fish sauce 
1 pound dry spaghetti 
1 ounce grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (heaping ¼ cup) 
A small handful of thinly sliced scallions (optional)

That's it. 

This what 20 cloves of garlic looks like. 

That said, I didn't mince or mortar anything. I used a garlic press but it was time consuming. Maybe jarred garlic would have been easier.  Too late to worry about that now. 


Step 1 Melt the butter in a wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat. 

Step 2 Meanwhile, bring 1½ inches of water to a boil in a 12-​inch skillet or sauté pan over high heat. (Alternatively, heat up just enough water to cover the spaghetti in a large Dutch oven or saucepan.) Add the pasta, stir a few times to make sure it’s not clumping, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente (about 2 minutes short of the recommended cook time on the package). 

Step 3 Using tongs, transfer the cooked pasta to the garlic sauce, along with whatever water clings to it. (Reserve the pasta water in the skillet.) Increase the heat to high, add the cheese to the wok, and stir with a wooden spatula or spoon and toss vigorously until the sauce is creamy and emulsified, about 30 seconds. If the sauce looks too watery, let it keep reducing. If it looks greasy, splash some more cooking water into it and let it re-​emulsify. 

It wasn't greasy or watery. Never needed the pasta water. 

Stir in the scallions (if using), and serve immediately.

The tastes should have been simple, but it was a bit complex. A lot of umami and sodium going on at the same time. For 20 cloves of garlic, it didn't smell like that, let alone taste badly. 

But it was missing something. Part of me thinks it is missing protein. It wasn't bad at all, but I kept apologizing for it - as I thought it would be "more". 

This might make it into the 'every now and then' rotation, but not a medium one 


Travel said...

You could add grilled shrimp, or chicken to that.

Ur-spo said...

If I could I would eat pasta / noodles every day.