Why use only one kind of garlic when you can have two? Sure, throw in 3 massive cloves of spicy freshly crushed garlic for a big garlickly slap in the face but also add three cloves of fermented sweet black garlic to round out the dish. Fresh garlic is this noodle dish’s Odette and black garlic is the Odile (Lost? Black Swan). One bright and fresh, the other black, wiser and sinister, two sides making up one whole person, or erm, garlic sauce?
I came up with this dish during last weekend’s particularly unpleasant stretch of 94% humidity, when leaving my apartment wasn’t an option. As a noodle hoarder and Asian condiment hoarder I had more than enough flavors for something special and settled on a sort of sesame scallion garlic sauce. Problem: no scallions, only cucumber. Without the subtle green bite of fresh scallions I sought balance for the dish. I did however, have a large cucumber. The idea to use black garlic came to me in a flash as I was scrolling though this here blog (yes, I read my own my blog for cooking ideas…it’s actually quite efficient) and my recipe for black garlic soba noodles. No soba in my house that day, only black rice noodles and white rice noodles. I thought the black noodles would stand up better but you can truly make this dish with ANY kind of noodle: soba, udon, rice, ramen, etc. If it matters, using black rice noodles makes this dish gluten free!
Have you read my guide for what to buy at an asian market? You should: What To Buy at an Asian Market
Double Garlic Black Rice Noodles
2 servings black rice noodles
4 cloves of the freshest garlic you can find
3 cloves fermented black garlic
1/2 small cucumber
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar (or sushi vinegar)
1 tablespoon ponzu
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Crush the fresh garlic cloves in a garlic press and roughly chop the black garlic. Slice the cucumber into paper-thin sheets, then slice into long strips.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to the package directions (should be 6 minutes). Drain, toss with a drop of sesame oil and set aside.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add all the garlic and use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the black garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, ensuring the garlic doesn’t burn, then add the ponzu and vinegar cook for one minute. Add the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil if the sauce seems like it won’t be enough.
4. Add the noodles to the pan to coat and remove from the flame. Toss with the cucumbers, add sesame seeds and serve.
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