What can you do with a bulb of kohlrabi, a few eggs, a dozen strands of chives and a handful of peanuts?
No, this isn’t the season finale of Chopped. This was what I saw this morning – hungry, in need of coffee, and with my lower back still throbbing from a recent injury. Once the coffee kicked in, I realized I hadn’t included the pantry in my initial ingredient assessment.
Because, if your pantry is worth its salt, there’s almost always a good meal within reach – even when the fridge pickings seem slim at first glance. And Asian recipes can be particularly useful in situations like this.
This recipe is extremely versatile. Call it Pad Thai. Call it Cleaning-Out-The-Fridge Noodle Stir Fry. Call it the best bowl of scrambled eggs you’ll ever eat. Just don’t call it stuck in its ways.
Normally I would have used scallions. But we only had chives. Bummer? Bean sprouts would be ideal – but all I had were delicious radish shoots. Rats! Bitter greens, napa cabbage, carrots, snow peas, leftover chicken or pork would all be great. But all I had was kohlrabi. Damn?!?
These weren’t compromises though. They were delicious. The point is that, like most Thai and Asian stir fries, this recipe hangs on the underlying technique and sauce ingredients, not on whether you have scallions or don’t have scallions.
If you don’t have fish sauce – don’t worry, soy sauce will work.
If you don’t like eggs, bummer for you – but you can still pull something together.
No kohlrabi? Like that ever happened.
There’s no more delicious way of using up your fridge’s odds and ends than a Thai-inspired stir fry like this.
Thai Noodle and Egg Stir Fry
3-6 oz. rice noodles
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly salted and beaten
1 ½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely diced
2 dried twilight chile peppers, diced (or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 small bulb kohlrabi, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon chives
2 tablespoons peanuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon radish shoots, bean sprouts or other microgreens
½ Thai, serrano or jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
Put the rice noodles in a medium bowl and cover them with boiling water. Give them a stir to keep them from sticking and let them sit 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. When it shimmers add the eggs and stir until they’ve come together in separate curds, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and return it to the heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and when it shimmers, add the ginger and hot pepper, stirring quickly until they release their fragrance, 1 minute or less. Add the kohlrabi and stir until its become slightly tender, 1-3 minutes.
Add the sauce, stir and allow to come to simmer. Add the noodles and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add half the chives and half the peanuts. Stir to incorporate and remove from the heat.
Garnish with radish shoots, hot pepper slices and remaining peanuts and chives.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)