Guys, Minnesota isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, we have nice people and a great sense of community. But the weather leaves a little something to be desired. It’s been cold and windy the past two days. It went from way too warm (literally almost 80 last week) to 40 and snow in the forecast. These changes are giving me whiplash!
I’m only joking though. Minnesota is truly the best, even with it’s weather mood swings. I couldn’t imagine myself living anywhere other than Minneapolis. It has the restaurants, culture, and history of a large city, but still feels homey and neighborly. And the gluten free and vegan food scene is awesome!
Speaking of vegan food, one of my favorite dishes in Minneapolis is from a restaurant called Ginger Hop. It’s an Asian fusion restaurant that has a little bit of everything on the menu. My favorite dish is Fire Noodles. These noodles are coated in a super greasy, super spicy, yet super sweet sauce. The dish also has a bunch of chilis, onions, tomato, basil, and tofu. The noodles are so, so bad for me but so, so good. They are also very delicious and warming in the fall and winter months.
Spicy Chili & Basil Noodles
I decided to replicate my favorite dish and make it a bit healthier this week. I call this dish Spicy Chili & Basil Noodles. Unlike the restaurant version, these are oil-free. They also have a lighter sauce and are a bit less salty. This makes for a healthier tasting dish, but still a delicious one. And it’s a dish I feel great about eating. But let’s be real, I’m still going to get the Fire Noodles sometimes too!
This dish is super customizable too. You can certainly adjust the spice to your comfort level by adding or reducing the chilis. You can also omit the red curry paste or remove the seeds from the chilis if you prefer a milder tasting dish. Adding some broccoli, peas, or other vegetables can amp up the nutrition too. Or you can add some tofu for a little extra protein. My Sweet & Spicy Tempeh would also go well in this dish. Whether you go with my recipe or add your own unique spin, I know you’ll love these noodles!
Spicy Chili & Basil Noodles
- 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
- 4 small chilis (about 1 1/2 inch long), thinly sliced
- 1 onion, sliced into strips
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp red curry paste
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup basil, torn
- 8 oz rice noodles
- garnishes: scallions, sesame seeds, more basil, seeded chilis
- 1/4 cup liquid aminos / tamari
- 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- juice of half a lime
- 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
Chop the red pepper, onion, chilis, and garlic.
Add 2 tbsp of water to a pan and heat over medium. Add the onion, garlic, and chilis. Cook until the onion and garlic are translucent.
Add the red curry paste and stir so the vegetables are coated. Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes before adding the red pepper and tomatoes. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine.
Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Add the torn basil to the vegetables and stir so the basil wilts.
In a large bowl, combine the noodles, vegetables, and sauce until everything is well-coated.
Serve your Spicy Chili & Basil Noodles! Garnish with sesame seeds, scallions, or whatever you'd like! Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for one week.
What’s your favorite vegan dish at your local restaurants? Have you ever tried to make it at home? Let me know in the comments below. And definitely share what you think of this recipe as well!