Usually, when you glance through your typical Asian restaurant menu, most dishes come with either noodles or rice…and all too often if you ask for them to “hold the noodles,” you end up with a meal that is about half the size it should be (because those noodles are a cheap filler), but for the same price. That certainly is one of the downfalls (and there aren’t many) of a grain-free diet – unless you’ve found a place that will actually increase the rest of the food in your meal to give you what you’re paying for.
Another option is to make your favorite Asian-inspired meals at home (we’ve got more than a few on the site). And by making them at home, you can also have your noodles if you want. Just a slightly different kind. So, today, we’ve got an Asian-inspired stir fry with noodles that is easy enough to make on a weeknight and good enough to share with others any time.
- 2 lbs turkey thighs (remove the skin before cooking)
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
- 3/4 cup chicken broth (that’s the ice cubes up front)
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
- 8 large mushrooms, quartered
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1-1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
Start out preheating the oven to 400 degrees (use convection if you have it), and adjusting the racks to the 1/3 and 2/3 levels. Peel the skin off the turkey and place on one baking pan. Split the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the “guts” and place on a second pan cut side down. When the oven is warm, put the squash on the upper rack and the turkey on the lower rack and set the timer for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, start checking the turkey (an instant-read thermometer is perfect for this – shooting for 165 degrees) and the squash for “doneness” every five minutes. The turkey should finish sooner – maybe 25 to 30 minutes, while the squash may take up to 45 minutes. The squash is done when it is soft enough for the skin to “give” under the pressure of a spoon pressed against it.
While the squash and turkey are cooking, get your veggies all cut up. The garlic and ginger are together in the small bowl on the right, and everything else I keep separate just because I like to do dishes. Seriously – it’s easier to control what gets tossed in at what point (some things cook faster than others) when you’ve got it all separated, so it’s just habit for me.
When the turkey is done, pull it out and let cool for a couple of minutes. Then cut it away from the bone and into chunks about 3/4″ or so and set aside in another prep bowl. When the squash is done, let it cool enough to pick up using a rubber-palmed oven mitt and “tease” the stringy noodles from the inside of the skin into a large serving bowl. Set this aside where it will stay warm (inside the now-off oven with the door open a crack is a good place).
Heat up a large wok over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and sesame oil. Let warm for just a second, then toss in the ginger and garlic. Sauté this in the hot oil for about 10 seconds, then toss in the carrots and broccoli. Stir this around for about 2 minutes, then add in the bell pepper and mushrooms. Continue cooking about 3~4 minutes until things are tender crisp and just hot.
Add in the turkey, chicken broth, and tamari. Stir and heat until the broth cubes are melted and hot and everything else is steaming. Transfer to the serving bowl, pouring the liquid over top of everything.
Sprinkle the top with half the scallions and sesame seeds. Toss the stir fry a little (leaving the noodles underneath), then sprinkle the remaining scallions and sesame seeds over it. To serve, use a serving fork and spoon or salad tongs to grab a healthy portion of noodles and veggies and transfer to wide shallow bowls. You can use a spoon to grab a little of the liquid from the bottom of the serving bowl and ladle over each serving as well. Dig in!