The preparation for Spinach and Cashew Noodles seems complicated, but the individual steps are simple and worth the effort when you end up with a bowl full of noodles begging to be picked up with chopsticks.
I came across this week’s Meatless Monday meal of Spinach and Cashew Noodles at Vegan Food Lovers on Instagram and used it as a starting point for my version. It’s still a work in process. I used rice vermicelli, but if you’d rather use a different type of noodle, that’s fine. I’ve used angel hair for quite a few noodle dishes with great result.
The advantage of rice vermicelli is that it only takes a few minutes in hot water and they’re ready. To make this, I put some water on to boil in my kettle (affiliate link and worth every penny) while I pan roasted the cashews with sugar and chili powder. The noodles soaked while the spinach and onions were sauteed in some oil flavored with red pepper flake and freshly grated ginger.
Once the spinach was ready it was a matter of assembling everything in the bowl and digging in.
- 2 servings rice vermicelli, prepared according to the package
- 2 small handfuls of cashews
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons cane or light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- pinch red pepper flake
- 1 - 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- ½ medium onion, diced
- juice of 1 lime, plus more for the table
- 2 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Set the water to boiling for the noodles while you prepare the cashews and spinach.
- Have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you begin cooking.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, stir the chili powder and sugar into the olive oil and toss the cashews to coat. Heat through taking care not to burn.
- Remove the cashews from the heat.
- Place the rice vermicelli into a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to sit while you cook the spinach.
- In a large skillet, saute the onions, garlic and ginger in the sesame oil until softened. Add more oil or water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Stir in the red pepper flake and wilt the spinach in the hot pan (in batches as necessary)
- When the spinach is wilted, stir in the lime juice and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- To serve, drain the noodles and split them between two bowls. Arrange the spinach on top and garnish with the cashews.
I have to admit Rick wasn’t tempted by this dish, but I enjoyed it especially the sweet and spicy cashews and the flavor of the soy and lime juice. His complaint was the noodles needed some sauce, and he has a point. A little of the fish sauce and rice vinegar dressing served in Vietnamese restaurants would have made a big difference. Next time I’ll make sure to have some on hand. I’ll add a few more veggies too…like pickled carrots, bean sprouts and fresh basil.