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Vegetarian Fried Rice Vermicelli

Earlier in May, I got this craving for fried rice vermicelli, which I don't think I'd made in almost a year. Since I can't really make small portions of this dish, I used to freeze individual servings to eat over the week. It really helped when my schedule was crammed with work, and is quick to reheat even while frozen. The version I make is mostly vegetarian, though it is definitely possible to augment its flavour with fish sauce, some eggs and almost any kind of meat. The choice of vegetables that go into this is pretty flexible. Any kind of Asian green vegetable would work in this. Mushrooms can be replaced by bamboo shoots, if anyone is averse to mushrooms, or some other crunchy vegetable. The kind of tofu is also up to the cook's imagination. Everything from plain strips of deep fried tofu puffs, firm seasoned tofu to sliced vegetarian meats is a go, in any combination.

It's like college students' noodles, just more homemade, and no MSG.

(Speaking of which, I need to get me a big box of instant ramen to slowly absorb like a killer slime, because I am an adult.)

Vegetarian Fried Rice Vermicelli

1 packet rice vermicelli (approx. 2 cakes of noodles)
1 packet vegetarian meat (such as mock preserved goose or mock roast duck, sliced)
2 pieces dried beancurd sheets (rehydrated, torn small)
4 - 6 dried shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated - liquid reserved, sliced)
4 - 6 dried tree mushrooms (rehydrated, julienned)
4 - 5 leaves Chinese cabbage (julienned)
2 carrots (julienned)
2 - 3 stalks green onions (sliced into strips)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
4 - 5 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
2 - 3 tbsp cooking oil


1. Rehydrate rice vermicelli in a large mixing bowl with enough hot water to cover. The vermicelli should soften within 2 - 5 minutes. Drain well.
2. Heat oil in a large pan, big enough to stir all the noodles. Add garlic. When the garlic is fragrant, add all the ingredients except the sauce, wine, lemon juice and vermicelli.
3. Stir fry ingredients in the pan until just lightly cooked. Add sauce, wine and seasonings. Add about 1 - 2 tbsp of reserved shiitake mushroom liquid. (Hint: If you have any mushroom liquid remaining, use it on the next sauce you make for extra flavour.) You'll want the stuff in the pan to be just a little saltier than you'd expect if you were eating them as is.
4. Add vermicelli. Stir until well mixed and the vermicelli is thoroughly warmed and not very damp. Add lemon juice.
5. Taste for flavour, if the vermicelli is not salty enough, add a little more salt. Remember that if you use any seasoned tofus, meats or vegetarian meats, the salt from that may influence the dish. Lemon juice will also add salt.
6. Serve hot.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
Here's a stupid question, what's rice vermicelli like?

I've had mung bean vermicelli (which I should be allergic but I'm not... maybe because it's just made from the starch of mung bean?) and I've used vermicelli that I think made from semolina for the Syrian rice pilaf.
May. 18th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Rice vermicelli is blander than either of the vermicelli's you've tried. When cooked, it smells like the water that's rinsed off raw rice -- like rice starch. It doesn't entirely have its own flavour. In fact, I think it's used because it absorbs the taste of ingredients around it so well.

Unlike mung bean vermicelli and semolina vermicelli, it will also be a little more tender to the bite, while also coarser on the outside (holds sauces well). Since it uses no beans and wheat, it's also good for allergies. :)
May. 19th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
oh! I should use that on my brother-in-law. He's gluten-intolerant.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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