Recently I came across Simon Bryant’s new cookbook Vegies, and being a fan of his work with the wonderful Maggie Beer on The Cook and The Chef, I couldn’t wait to flick through. Other than Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday book, I’ve seen a number of books marketed under a vegetable guise and have been disappointed when I opened them up and found that whilst the recipes contain veg there is also a heavy reliance on meat for flavour. Simon’s didn’t do that at all and vegetables really are the star of his recipes.
Purchase made I headed home and eagerly devoured the book, noting what recipes I couldn’t wait to try. And this, Simon’s Bok Choy with Noodles, Black Sesame and Spring Onion Oil was the first I opted to make. I loved the simple flavours of this dish, which only requires a handful of ingredients.
I did make a few substitutions though, based merely on what I had on hand. In place of the fresh rice noodles in Simon’s recipe I used fresh Udon noodles. I also didn’t have light soy or vegetarian oyster sauce, so in their place I doubled the amount of soy and added a dash of kecap manis.
The finished dish is really fresh, light and perfect as the days get warmer and we head into summer. For me though, the star of this dish is the spring onion oil. It’s so easy to make and definitely something I will be making again and again.
- ½ a bunch of spring onions
- 150ml of flavour neutral oil such as canola oil
- 2 tsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of kecap manis
- 500g of fresh udon noodles
- 3 bunches of bok choy, leaves halved
- big pinch of salt
- 1 tsp of black sesame seeds
- Thinly slice on an angle some of the green parts of spring onion (to yield about 2 tablespoons) and set aside. Chop the remaining spring onions into 5 to 6 cm lengths and add to a small saucepan. Add the oil to the saucepan and place over a low heat for 30 minutes to infuse.
- Strain the oil, discard the onions and allow the oil to cool slightly before adding the soy sauce and kecap manis. Add the sauce to a large mixing bowl and set aside while you steam the bok choy and noodles.
- Lightly oil a bamboo steamer and add the bok choy and noodle0A
- Add the bok choy and noodles to the boil with the oil and toss to combine. Add the salt and black sesame sees and toss through to coat.
- Divide the between 4 bowls and garnish with the reserved spring onion.