When I went gluten-free, I saw it as a great opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. Without having to make dietary changes, I don't thing I would have ever been curious to try grains like amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat and so many varieties of rice including bamboo and black forbidden rice. Not just in main courses, but in desserts. Who knew I'd become obsessed with rice pudding?
Of course, the first thing most of us try when we go gluten-free is gluten-free pasta. I've tried brown and white rice pasta, corn pasta, and quinoa pasta from most major brands. I'm not a big fan of corn pasta, even though I must say some of them taste pretty good, because not only do many of them use non-GMO corn, but also because corn contains its own kind of gluten and some health practitioners advise to stay away from it.
Lately, I've been trying various Asian noodles that I haven't tried before. King Soba makes a variety of organic gluten-free noodles that I've been having a good time with in the kitchen. I've tried their Organic Sweet Potato and Buckwheat Noodles (all buckwheat, no whole wheat flour!) and now I'm loving their Organic Pumpkin, Ginger and Brown Rice Noodles. I like them because they are lighter, tastier and easier to digest than regular brown rice noodles. They're available at Whole Foods and most health food stores.
While I've been playing in the kitchen with the noodles, I've also been enjoying a bottle of green cucumber vinegar that someone gave me. It's lovely drizzled in a salad. (Perhaps one with that black forbidden rice.) I decided to use it in this dish, too, but you can substitute brown or white rice vinegar instead.
GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN,GINGER & BROWN RICE NOODLES WITH SHRIMP AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as an appetizer
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
¼ cup green cucumber vinegar
¼ cup gluten-free tamari
¼ cup water plus one tablespoon
¼ cup raw honey
2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices
2 portions King Soba Pumpkin, Ginger and Brown rice noodles (4.4 oz)
1/2 pound raw peeled shrimp, sauteed or grilled
2 scallions, cut into diagonal slices
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
In a small saucepan combine the mushrooms, ginger, vinegar, tamari and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. When cooled, add the honey and stir until dissolved.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook as this pasta gets mushy if cooked too long. Drain in a colander and run under cold water.
To arrange the noodle dish, place the noodles in a medium sized bowl. Add the shrimp, scallions, sesame seeds and dressing. Toss to coat. To finish, drizzle with the toasted sesame oil.