Well if I tell you that I had in one of the kitchen cupboards a packet of vermicelli waiting to be remembered… I’m sure you’re not surprised at all. I have a terrible addiction to acquire all those strange, different, unusual products… that I find every time I go to buy. What happens is that sometimes I buy so many things that later I forget everything I have to try and when I see it is as if I saw it again for the first time, that it is not bad… right?
Total, I saw them the other day when I was organizing things and I thought – how good they are for the next post! – Originally, this recipe would prepare it with rice but when I saw them, I changed my mind. So the recipe turned to be these vermicelli with marinated feta and wasabi yogurt.
The vermicelli have a somewhat diffuse origin, have always been related to Italian gastronomy but 11 years ago scientists found remains of a 4,000-year-old noodle bowl located in China. These noodles are very thin and long, they can be made from rice, soy, wheat or, as in this case, peas and mung beans.
And what is this about mung beans? Its real name is mung bean and has nothing to do with soybeans even though it is usually called “green soybeans”. It is the most protein rich legume that exists, and this is followed by soy, as well as contain carbohydrates, fiber and very little fat. They were cultivated for the first time in India more than 5,000 years ago, producing a variety of dahl (skinless legumes), a basic dish in the Himalayas to Kerala, where the beans are mixed with rice grits (“congee” – kanji ).
The vermicelli can be cooked as much boiled as fried or sautéed and accompany a great variety of ingredients.
In my case I leave you an adapted presentation of the book of The Green Kitchen, they elaborate this dish with rice and some different ingredients. For me it was a discovery the yogurt sauce and wasabi… what I like wasabi! If when we eat Japanese I pick it from time to time with the chopsticks.. I like it that way, alone, and accompanied of course! It’s a great version, super light, fresh and intense. Do not forget to try it.
One of the accompaniments is marinated feta cheese, which was originally tofu but… I find it hard to eat it, perhaps later on I ended up making it to its texture and flavor. You never know… Another discovery, how the taste varies, really, surprising. No doubt of that kind of elaborations that you have to have in the fridge to season salads, vegetables… because I think you can not go wrong with anything.
And here we can find a doubt: what is the difference between macerating and marinating? They are two very similar techniques but with different functions. According to the ” Larousse Gastronomique ” encyclopedia, macerating is to introduce a solid food into a liquid medium where it is the liquid medium that acquires the aromas of the solid that we have introduced. For example it is made with fruits and liquors, wines, syrups… Or an oil to which we have added herbs to aromatize it.
On the other hand we have the marinade. The word marin comes from the Latin marinus and means marine. The first definition given by the RAE was “to give some salt to the fish to preserve it”; “To preserve in food certain foods, especially fish, with marinade of wine, vinegar, herbs, species, etc. So that they soften and acquire aroma “,” put seamen of the loading vessel in the captured “; “Man again a ship”.
The process of marinating consists of adding a solid in a medium fluid, usually with citrus and / or vinegars, and flavored where our purpose is for the solid to be the one who acquires the flavors and aromas we have added, the product to become more juicy, Cook lightly, help preserve it for a long time, or subtly reduce its flavor intensity.
Depending on the liquid to which the food is subjected this process may have different names: cebiche if it is submerged in lemon juice or similar ingredients, marinade if it is a mixture of paprika and oil and pickle if using vinegar (as we will do with one of our ingredients).
And finally the ginger pickle, it gives another bold point and fresh making the set is a perfect choice for the summer since, all the ingredients, are served in cold. It is like a salad that is somewhat peculiar but different, that it is not enough to enjoy dishes that awaken the palate from time to time (do not go to lose qualities…)
I leave you with the elaboration, may seem very long to read it but in the end are very short processes that are done in a very short time. The only thing that we must prepare in advance is the macerated of feta cheese and the pickle of ginger, for that of potentiating flavors.
INGREDIENTS FOR 2 PEOPLE:
FOR THE VERMICELLI:
- 2 skeins / vermicelli nests of peas and mung beans
- 15 g mirin
- 15 g of rice vinegar
- 15 g sesame oil
- Salt in flakes
FOR MARINE FETA CHEESE:
- 150 g feta cheese
- 35 g of tahini
- 35 g of soybeans
- 15 g of rice vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3/4 red chili
- A piece of ginger about 2 cm grated
FOR GINGER BAG:
- 100 g fresh ginger
- Salt in flakes
- 60 g apple cider vinegar
- 20 g honey
FOR THE WASABI YOGURT:
- 100 g of natural Greek yogurt
- 6 g of wasabi paste
- pinch of salt
- 80 g of broccoli, in small bouquets
- 1 avocado
- 1 small cucumber
- 4 mushrooms Portobello
- 4 rabanitos
- 2 sheets of algae Nori or 3 g if it is in flakes
- Black sesame
- White sesame
- Some coriander leaves
We started marinating the feta cheese.
In my case I used feta in brine that is cut into small cubes. If we do not find this, we can buy the one that comes in a block and cut it into squares of 1 × 1 cm.
Peel the clove of garlic and mash in a mortar, we reserve. We cut the red chili into thin strips, we booked.
In a small bowl we add the mirin along with the rice vinegar, the tahini and mix. It will take a little dissolve the tahini in the sauce but beating it, we will get it. Add the garlic pounded together with the red chile and the grated ginger, mix again until well combining the ingredients.
In a Fido type jar we add the feta cheese and pour the dressing, we mix until we make sure that all the cheese is covered with the sauce.
Introduce in the refrigerator until the next day.
We make pickled ginger.
To make the pickle of ginger we will have to remove the outer skin. Here I will make a short paragraph to tell you a little trick that I was taught this past Friday in a healthy kitchen workshop.
I’ve spent my whole life peeling ginger with either knife or peeler, this is a complete mistake. The reason? It is not one, they are two.
The main, and most evident, is that if we peel with some of these instruments we lose much of the root meat, wasting it. Most of the benefits of ginger are just under the skin, so when peeling with a knife and / or peeler, we also take away some of those benefits that are so healthy for us. So what should we peel it with? With a spoon.
We will only have to gently scrape the surface of the root with this and watch as it withdraws very easily without losing any of the root meat. Not to mention how easy it will be for us to reach all those convoluted nooks that ginger has. We follow.
Remove the outer skin by scraping with a spoon. Once it is completely clean, cut into very thin strips with the aid of a very sharp knife.
Introduce into a glass container / bottle. We add the vinegar along with the salt and the honey, we closed in jar and shake very well to help to dissolve the honey in the vinegar. We left at room temperature until the next day.
Hydrated Nori algae.
We filled a bowl with cold water and added Nori seaweed, in my case I used flakes. Remove and soak for 20 minutes.
After this time, we drained very well and booked.
We prepared the wasabi yogurt.
In a bowl we add the Greek yogurt along with the wasabi paste and a pinch of salt, we mix very well until dissolving completely in wasabi. Cover with film and refrigerate until ready to use.
If you do not like the spicy much I recommend adding half, mixing, taste and correct adding more if you think it has little taste. In my case I must say that I really like the spicy… that’s why I put you on notice!
Bleach the broccoli.
Prepare a saucepan with water and place over medium high heat, let it boil. While we cut small stems of broccoli and wash very well.
We prepared a bowl with very cold water and ice, we booked.
Once it comes to a boil add the salt and incorporate the broccoli. We leave for 2 minutes, we should not overdo this time, we take out with the aid of a slotted spoon and we quickly enter the bowl with water and ice. We left for 1 minute. We drain and reserve.
With this process we favor that the brocoli acquire a very crunchy texture in addition to take out all the chlorophyll and favor that it has a very intense green color.
Let’s cook the vermicelli.
Prepare a medium saucepan with water and place over medium high heat, let it boil. In that moment we add the salt and the two skeins of vermicelli, we will leave to cook during 5 minutes removing from time to time after the first 3 minutes.
While we prepare the dressing. In a bowl mix the mirin along with the rice vinegar and the sesame oil. We booked it.
At the cooking time, remove from the heat and drain very well. Let it cool slightly.
Turn the vermicelli in a bowl and pour the dressing, mixed with the help of two forks to evenly distribute and favor that they impregnate well. We booked it.
We prepare the rest of vegetables.
Wash the cucumber and cut into sticks without removing the skin. Cut the avocado in half, remove the skin and bone and cut into thin sheets. Sprinkle with a little lemon or lime juice to prevent it from rusting.
We washed the mushrooms and cut into quarters. Wash the radishes and cut into very thin slices.
We set the dishes.
We place a vermicelli base of peas and mung beans, we arrange cucumber canes, avocado slices, quartered mushrooms, slices of radish, Nori seaweed and sprinkle with black sesame, white sesame and finely chopped cilantro.
We serve with wasabi yogurt, pickled ginger and marinated feta cheese, which if we prefer we can arrange a little on the surface. This goes a bit in tastes, in case they prefer to cast more or less amount, although I notice that it is great.
- If you do not like feta cheese or follow a vegan diet, you can substitute feta for firm tofu.
- All the vegetables can be substituted by others that are more according to your tastes.
- If you do not find this variety of vermicelli you can use another one or even change it for rice or pasta.