This Asian veggie pasta is a simple Asian-inspired pasta recipe that’s full of good old fashioned flavors. While this vegetarian noodle recipe isn’t an authentic Asian recipe, it’s easy to make, and very tasty.
I grew up in Asia so you’d think I know that there’s no such thing as a catch-all “Asian” food. You’re right, and I do. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t grow up trying food from restaurants that were essentially a mix of various East Asian components.
When I was young, these dishes were mostly advertised as Chinese or Japanese, while not being an authentic representation of either cuisine. So for this recipe, I’ve rebranded one of those recipes as an Asian vegetable pasta. What is it? It’s essentially a vegetarian stir-fry (-ish) using linguine instead of noodles. (Did I mention it’s yummy?)
What is Asian veggie pasta?
What constitutes Asian food? Well, nothing and simultaneously a lot. Asia is a very big place, after all! In North America, the term “Asian” often refers to East Asia, and more specifically the regions around China, Japan, Thailand, and Korea. In the UK, “Asian” often refers to South Asia, and more specifically, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. However, for the rest of the world, “Asian” refers mostly to the entirety of the Asian continent, which includes some of the Middle East, the Indian-subcontinent, and more.
It’s for that reason that I’m a bit uncomfortable with the title of this recipe – Asian vegetable noodles – it’s not specific to any part of Asia, though it is mostly inspired by the “Chinese vegetable noodles” that was served to me at restaurants and in people’s homes, when I was growing up.
(And, in case I’m not being clear enough, those veggie noodles were not in any way an accurate depiction of Chinese noodles (they’d often incorrectly be advertised as lo mein). And neither is this recipe. This Asian pasta recipe is a re-creation of the inauthentic noodles that I’d be served growing up.)
Are Asian noodles pasta
An interesting question that pops up is whether Asian noodles count as pasta dishes. And while noodles and pastas may look alike, there are a number of differences between the two.
Italian pasta tends to be made using egg-based doughs, and non-egg based doughs, whereas Asian noodles have a bit more variety depending on the type of noodle – rice noodles, soba noodles, sweet potato noodles, egg noodles, etc.
The process to make both are fairly similar though while Italian pastas tend to prefer an al dente texture, Asian-style noodles vary more in textures (depending on the dish).
- Olive oil
- Sesame seeds
- Soy sauce
- Linguine pasta
- Green pepper
- Red pepper
- Spring onions
- Black pepper
- Hot water
How to make Asian veggie pasta
Making this Asian vegetable pasta recipe is quite simple. We’ll start on the preparation aside by chopping your vegetables (julienne, if you’re feeling extra fancy…just small strips if you’re not).
Once prepared, heat your olive oil over a low heat in a wok or a deep pan, or large pot. Add the sesame seeds to the hot olive oil. Add in the sliced mushrooms, and fry for two or three minutes, followed by the remaining chopped vegetables. Mix and cook for around five minutes.
Add the pasta, soy sauce, hot water, and cook for around seven or eight minutes, until the pasta is cooked through. Add the honey, and mix well. Sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top, along with some chopped green onions for garnish. Enjoy!
I went as simple as possible with this recipe as I wanted to keep it close to what I ate growing up. However, there’s a lot you can do here! (If you can’t be bothered to make any big changes but just want a hit of spice, go ahead, add some red pepper flakes, and call it a day.)
While this recipe uses olive oil, I’d recommend you try cooking this same dish with sesame oil for a little added oomph.
Garlic should be added to all things. And it would be a great addition to this dish. Don’t worry about how much garlic…there are measurements in garlic. Garlic is measured only by the heart.
While this recipe uses linguine pasta, there are several different types of pasta or noodle that would work. If you want to use spaghetti, that’ll work. If you want to try rice noodles or ramen noodles, those would be delicious too. Just keep an eye on the cook times and amounts.
The vegetables used in this recipe can absolutely be replaced. While I use button mushrooms (because I’m feeling a bit lazy today), you can use any kind that works for you. I’d recommend cremini mushrooms as an excellent alternative.
Or if you want to get a bit more thematic, you can use mushrooms that are popular in East Asia, such as shiitake or oyster.
Other options are adding fresh ginger, snow peas, broccoli, or bok choy to the recipe. If you’re up for one more step, you can replace the hot water with a vegetable broth.
Type of soy sauce
I’m just using standard soy sauce for this Asian noodle recipe. If you want to use tamari, or low sodium soy sauce, those will work just fine.
This recipe is vegetarian and if you intend to keep it so, the easiest protein to add would be tofu or seitan. If you’re not considered about that, and just want to add protein, then chicken or beef strips are great options – make sure to add them to the skillet with enough time for them to cook through.
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Make it vegan
In order to make this a vegan Asian vegeteable pasta, you’re going to want to substitute the pasta for a vegan-friendly noodle. Additionally, be sure to check your soy sauce to ensure it is vegan (typically, soy sauce is vegan, but some brands have additives from meat or fish). Lastly, you will require a vegan honey alternative such as agave nectar or maple syrup.
Some authentic Asian recipes
Here are a few Asian recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
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As you may have guessed, this recipe is easiest cooked using a wok. And woks are actually incredibly useful to have as they work as large skillets, and as medium-sized pots too!
And that’s it. What did you think? Have you ever tried an Asian veggie pasta before? Let me know in the comments below.Print