This NYT Cooking Dish #Vegetarian Could Be #Vegan Could Be #NotVegetarian

I went ahead and subscribed to the New York Times online and I get access to their cooking newsletter (the free version — it takes an additional subscription for full access). This is to tell you that I can’t share the original recipe. Of course, I didn’t exactly follow it, so….

Here’s what I put in it. It’s pretty much what the original recipe called for, except that I didn’t have fresh shallots, so I used reconstituted dry shallots, and I didn’t have dried shiitake mushrooms, so I used fresh. Also, somebody in the comments to the recipe suggested cooking the tofu (sorry Dan) separately and adding it last, so I did that.

Check out this mise en place.

Ingredients: Meefun (mifun) (rice vermicelli, found in the Asian isle of the grocery or in a regular aisle of an Asian grocery), shallots, tofu, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms (these were shiitake), egg strips.

This is a lot fussier than I generally get, but sometimes I just want to cook something a little fussy, OKAY?

If you hate tofu, leave out this next paragraph.

I always keep slices of tofu in the freezer, so I got out a slice, wrapped it in paper towels, and put it between a hard surface and a cast-iron skillet early, so it had time to defrost and give off a lot of its water. Cut the tofu into even chunks and toss it with pepper and soy sauce. You could totally add ground Thai peppers or whatever. When it’s absorbed the soy sauce, heat some oil in your egg skillet, toss the tofu in cornstarch, and fry it until it’s browned all over.

Put the rice noodles in cold water to soak while you do the rest of the prep.

If you want to be vegan, leave out this next paragraph.

Beat an egg (or two, if you’re making a lot — I was cooking for two). Heat some oil in a skillet big enough to hold the egg in a thin layer. Pour in the egg, swirling it (gently!) to make a thin, even layer. When the egg is set, take it out and cool it, then slice it into “noodles”.

Shred some cabbage. I have sharp knives and I know how to use them, so I just cut it into shreds.

Cut a carrot into matchsticks.

Cut some mushrooms into chunks.

NOTE: You can substitute or add other veg, of course. It’s your goddamn food.

Get about a cup of stock — veg or beef or chicken or whatever.

If you want to use meat, cut your meat into even-sized little chunks and, if it’s raw, cook it and add it in place of the tofu.


Get a deeper, larger pan than the egg one. Heat some oil to medium-high, and start adding veg, heaviest first. Cook the carrots and shallots for about five minutes, then throw in the mushrooms, then the cabbage. Drain the noodles and toss them in the pan. Add the stock and cook it all until the stock is absorbed by the noodles. Add the cooked tofu/meat/veg/nothing and the egg “noodles”.

We added a little more soy sauce at the table, but you could add another sauce.

OH! It was so good!

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Someone adds something to a dish that isn’t supposed to be in it.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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