Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Vegetable-Noodle Stir-Fry with Hot-and-Sour Sauce

This (almost) vegetarian stir-fry is loaded with fresh vegetables, fresh flavors, and a fresh take on a simple noodle and veggie dish. The sauce is bold but all those vegetables can handle it—and the eggplant soaks up all that flavor and then some.

Why “almost” vegetarian? Fish sauce. But if you’re not too strict about it, leave this wonderfully pungent, salty condiment in the recipe. It adds rich depth to the sauce. To go completely vegetarian, omit the fish sauce and substitute one tablespoon of vegetable broth.

Serves 4

  • juice of 1 whole lime
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch 
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 Thai chiles (red, green, or 1 of each), finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 baby eggplant (purple or striped), diced
  • 1 stalk baby bok choy, diced (including leaves)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • cooked rice noodles, for serving
  • coarsely chopped cashews, for serving
Prepared Ingredients
  1. Whisk the lime juice and next 5 ingredients (through sambal oelek) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the water and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside and whisk again just before using.
Hot and Sour Mixture
  1. Heat a wok (or deep skillet) over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the chiles, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute.
  2. Add the white parts of the scallions, eggplant, bok choy, and bell pepper and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  3. Re-whisk the water-cornstarch slurry and stir into the reserved sauce. Stir the sauce into the wok mixture and cook until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes.
Chile, Garlic, and Ginger
Vegetable Mixture Added
Mushrooms Added
Sauce Added
To serve, divide the noodles among 4 shallow bowls. Divide the vegetables and sauce on top and garnish with the dark green parts of the scallions and cashews. Serve right away.

Vegetable-Noodle Stir-Fry with Hot and Sour Sauce


  1. This looks fun and flavorful! I'd love it if you'd share it at the Healthy Living Link Party that opens at 7 pm Central Time on Wednesday. Thanks!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Thanks so much, Leigh --- I will do that!

  2. I love Asian flavors and noodles. Thanks for joining the What's for dinner link up!