Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kung Pao Noodles

Although I had never tried kung pao/po before, when I saw this posted on Ashley's eat me, delicious blog it sounded exactly like the type of meal for me. A spicy, salty sauce with a bit of sweetness was definitely one to try!!! Soon afterwards I had the opportunity to sample Kung Po "Lamb" and "Chicken" at Enlightened Cuisine and they were fantastic.

One of the things I wanted to change about the recipe was the hoisin sauce as it's not something I am particularly fond of and didn't have any on hand. Instead, I used a combination of kecap manis, BBQ sauce and vegan oyster mushroom sauce. White wine is something I never have around either so I added a touch of white wine vinegar as my substitute.

When it comes to stir-fry's the man came be quite fussy. He only recently made it known to me that he doesn't like nuts in stir-fry's and has also become a bit weird when it comes to tofu. I still haven't worked out how he likes it best (apart from deep-fried which I rarely do!) but I know some of the ways he doesn't like it. He seemed to enjoy the tofu that we had at Nana Thai in Mission Beach which wasn't pre-fried so I thought I would give that a try. Instead of frying the tofu cubes, I placed them into the kung pao sauce to marinade whilst preparing the rest of the vegetables.

The good news is that all three of us really loved these noodles. There were so many wonderful flavours in the sauce to enjoy and the tofu tasted sensational as it had soaked up the kung pao sauce. I had a good feeling about this recipe as I had loved a curried chickpea soup that Ashley posted from her Rebar cookbook a while ago. This cookbook is going on my wishlist, not that I really need any more!

Kung Pao Noodles
(Adapted from eatme, delicious and Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook)

Kung Pao sauce

2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon kecap manis
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon vegan oyster mushroom sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 star anise pod
2 teaspoons sriracha chilli sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon cornflour

Other ingredients

270g dry udon noodles
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
350g firm tofu, drained, pressed with paper towels and cut into cubes

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce except for the cornflour into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water in a teacup until it is a smooth paste, then pour this mixture into the simmering sauce. Simmer, covered for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the heat. Remove the star anise from the sauce and discard. Add the tofu cubes to the sauce to marinade.

Meanwhile, bring water to the boil to cook the noodles in. Cook according to package directions (mine took 8 minutes). Drain the noodles in a colander and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking further.

Heat the peanut oil in a wok, swirling it around so the sides of the wok are coated with the oil. Stir-fry the onion until golden, then add the vegetables and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add the sauce and the tofu and allow to cook until the vegetables start to soften. Mix through the noodles and serve.


  1. I hadn't heard of Kung Pao either, but this looks wonderful. Thanks for the recipe - especially with the bonus of knowing your partner (who sounds like he might share some fussiness with mine :) ) liked it!

  2. I am not familiar with this but I must try it - had mee goreng this week and felt like it is good to branch out into some other noodle dishes but so many have ingredients that I don't have - hoisin sauce is never in my kitchen either - nor is bbq sauce or vegan oyster sauce but it is good to see that substitutes can work

  3. Thanks Kari, my husband is usually happy to eat most asian food I serve up, it's only recently that he has had a thing about tofu. I think blogging has highlighted the amount of quirks than my husband and son to me.

    Thanks Johanna, noodles are often on the menu around here and I do like to try a new recipe every now and then. Haven't cooked mee goreng for a while, must be time for another go.

  4. Yaey I'm happy you guys all enjoyed this!! :)

  5. We certainly did enjoy these noodles, thanks for sharing the recipe Ashley!