Curried Noodle Patties

Curried Noodle Patties Recipe


One of the things I've noticed looking back through the archives of this site is that I have a tendency to skip over many of the everyday-type recipes in my life. The ones that come together without a special trip to the store. The ones that incorporate leftovers and very little time in the kitchen. The ones that aren't particularly sexy, exciting, or rooted in any sort of authentic cuisine or seminal cookbook.

I suppose some don't make the cut because they are outright embarrassing, others because they are photogenically-challenged. Sometimes it's because we eat it all before I have a chance to pop off a photo. I've been thinking about some of the recipes that were the most popular with you over the past year, and a good number of them meet this "easy, tasty, healthy, on-the-fly" criteria. I included a bunch of these types of recipes in my book, and they are the ones I end up turning to when I don't really feel like spending an entire evening preparing a meal. So! I'm going to make an effort to include more of these on the site this year - starting today.

What do you do with a big bowl of leftover pasta noodles? In this case I had angel hair pasta. I decided I was going to make some sort of savory noodle cakes from them. My game plan was pretty straight forward - I actually woke up this morning thinking about this. Toss the noodles with enough egg to hold the patties together, then throw in whatever else I could find in the refrigerator (in this case, tofu, green onions, and cilantro). I had a delicious lunch on my hands in under ten minutes. They look like they'll travel well for those of you packing lunches these days.

Think of this as more of an idea than an actual recipe. You could remix it 100 different ways. Try buckwheat soba noodles and a soy dipping sauce for a Japanese interpretation. Opt for corn, chopped oven-roasted tomatoes, feta and cilantro in the summer time. You get my drift, this recipe is endlessly adaptable. Please throw out some ideas in the comments, I have a feeling this technique is going to be in high-rotation around here, and I always love hearing what you would add to the recipe.

 
 
 
 

Curried Noodle Patties

If you aren't used to preparing food with curry paste err on the side of caution, some pastes are hotter than others. I used red curry paste - but expect that yellow or green would be delicious as well. I used a whole-grain angel hair pasta, but any spaghetti-type noodle will work. If you are boiling the pasta (and not using leftovers) run the noodles under cold water after draining to cool them off. This is so the eggs don't cook on contact with the hot noodles.

1-2 teaspoons (red) Thai curry paste
4 eggs
6 ounces tofu, diced (roughly 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups noodles, cold
2 tablespoons sesame or olive oil
peanuts, green onions and cilantro for garnish

Smash and spread the curry paste around the bottom of a medium bowl. Add one of the eggs and stir until the curry paste is well incorporated. Whisk in the rest of the eggs. Stir in the tofu, cilantro, green onions, and salt. Add the noodles. I've found it is easiest to work the egg evenly through the noodles if you use your hands and you don't get any noodle breakage.

Heat a well-seasoned skillet over medium heat. Place 1/3 cup of the noodle mixture into egg rings or handle-less, metal biscuit cutters and cook in batches for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden. If the little bits of tofu and onions are escaping the noodles in the mixing bowl, just toss them into the egg ring on top of the noodles, those will end up on the bottom of the patty - nice and golden. To serve, season with salt and garnish with a sprinkling of green onion, cilantro, and peanuts.

Makes 8 -12.

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Your Comments


Tim
January 24, 2007

To be honest Heidi it is these posts that I find the most inspiring. The ones that say 'look what wonderful things I made using what I had', rather than trotting a list of exotic ingredients (although they can be fun they are not quite so inspiring).

Options for additons to the recipe could be some crunchy cauliflower florettes, or some blanched brocolli and some chunks of brie, served with an aioli dipping sauce...

 

Misha
January 24, 2007

Perfect! As a new grad student I've been trying to keep up with cooking, but brainstorming quick and easy things to eat especially those made of leftovers. This is perfect and I can't wait to try it. But first I've got some reading to do...

 

anne
January 24, 2007

I was just staring at a huge bundle of cilantro I had leftover from a soup I made last night and wondering what to do with it. Thanks for the timely post!

 

Snehal
January 24, 2007

Sounds interesting with tofu!! Have to try it. I made something similar for my mum over last weekend's barbecue. She is vegetarian and quite out of place amongst the rest of us meat-eaters :). We had some leftover 'Masala Noodles'. So I bashed them up with boiled mashed potatoes, some fresh breadcrumbs, some herbs and spices .... shaped them into rounds patties and grilled them [after adding everything the quantity was HUGE and it made 36 patties]. Not only my mum but even the meat-lovers couldn't get enough of it!

 

Lydia
January 24, 2007

I usually have lots of leftovers, but rarely have leftover noodles! Now I have a reason to make a batch. I can definitely see taking these in a Chinese/Japanese direction, with tofu, scallions, soy sauce and some oyster sauce -- and a bit of chili paste with garlic.....

 

Nivedita
January 24, 2007

Mmmm... those look yummy! The combination of fine noodles and onions reminded me of the West/South Indian breakfast dish Seviyan Upma or Vermicelli Upma. Try adding a handful of fresh grated coconut and curry leaves for a distinctly South Indian twist.

Is the multigrain angel hair pasta that you used widely available? I'd love to try it. I live in LA. Thanks!

 

catherine Ross
January 24, 2007

Gorgeous dish - these look fabulous! I think my better dishes come from "what needs to be used up" queries. It helps you to blend things you might not try otherwise.

Eggplant would be good with these, whether your curry is Indian or thai (I just so happen to have both Indian and thai eggplant on hand right now!). Green beans and thai basil for thai? Wait...that's what I'm making right now!

 

Laurel
January 24, 2007

Hi Heidi,

Those look delicious. They remind me a little bit of Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Hiroshima-yaki is a savory cabbage pancake with a cake of yakisoba and a fried egg on top garnished with kewpie mayo, nori flakes, and okonomiyaki sauce. Delicious!

 

Rebecca
January 24, 2007

Okay, just made it. I don't have a biscuit cutter, though, so ended up making a giant batch in a frying pan...and flipping it was pretty amusing: it involved a tupperware cake platter, my husband, three dish towels, and some pretty excited dogs. Instead of cilantro, I used spinach. And I sauted the tofu a bit before cooking it in the frittata. Oh, and I included corn. So yes, it's an easy concept to play with. Next time: much more curry paste!

 

RookieMom Heather
January 24, 2007

Oh, you're a funny one... I'd like to see what you do with my leftovers. ;-)

 

John
January 25, 2007

Great idea. Now, If you are one of those like me with what the French call 'em bon point' - (that is, a tummy) and have to watch all the good things in life like pasta then you can use onion rings either raw or part-fried in place of the pasta and what you get is delicious but a little lighter.

 

Ainsley
January 25, 2007

Heidi, I just love the direction you go sometimes! Since I have to cook gluten-free and because I cannot take spicy-hot foods like Thai paste... here is my adaptation. Make a paste with sundried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, water, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic (mix all in a food processor) - substitute noodles with the thin rice noodles you find in the international section of your local market - and since I don't have a biscuit cutter, my little noodle patties would probably do well in a mini-muffin tin in the oven. In fact, I might have to try this out sometime during the coming weekend. I will let you know how it turns out!

 

Lisa (Homesick Texan)
January 25, 2007

Creative meals that make use of leftovers and refrigerator stragglers are often the best. But you say that some of your food is photogenically challenged? Actually, that could be fun to see!

 

Nosheteria
January 25, 2007

Yum, what an excellent use of leftover pasta. I'm all for reinventing one dish to create another. Looks great!

 

chefasata
January 25, 2007

I've been pondering the "noodle cake" idea for a week now. Must be in the air. I wanted to use pasta to build "nests" and nestle some goodies inside... crab, artichoke, cheesey goodness... and top w/ seasoned breadcrumbs for a quick browning in the oven. I was blundering over a binder though -- EGG! So obvious I overlooked it. Thanks for the inspiration.

 

Kim
January 25, 2007

I do enjoy things that are simple, and use leftovers. I think too often foodies do get bogged down by the exotic. Next time i have extra noodles, I know what I'm doing.

 

Lisa
January 25, 2007

When I was a kid, my mother would do a version of this with leftover, already sauced spaghetti. Mix with eggs and cheese, and put the whole thing in a 9-inch skillet. Flip using a plate. Cut in wedges and serve with more tomato sauce and cheese. It's sooo 1960s, but I still love this dish. Never thought to do smaller ones with different themes--this is gonna be fun!

 

Scotchgrrl
January 25, 2007

My Mom used to make Chick-etti. It was spag noodles with cheddar cheese (like mac&cheese), chicken chunks leftover from roasted, black olives, green onions, and peas. It was a great one-pot meal and one of my favorites. The leftovers from that got some more cheese added to it and treated as Lisa commented, one big disk in a frying pan cut into wedges. So yum!

Your blog is an inspiration for me. Thank you so much for all the brilliant ideas and for being out there for me gain the courage from to start my own.

 

Susan at Food "Blogga"
January 25, 2007

I just love crispy noodles! I like snow peas, slivered carrots, Thai basil, and mint.

 

Quirkiekai
January 25, 2007

Have got sundried tomatoes and angel's hair sitting in my fridge for ages... I now know what I wanna cook this weekend! Thanks for this great idea!

 

Gee Taylor
January 25, 2007

Have just joined you, and already am inspired. I have made the noodle cakes and added chopped prawns. Yummy!
I am an Australian, and just love simple ideas like yours, in fact all cooking ideas!.
Thanks,
Gee

 

Rachael
January 26, 2007

Mmm, what a lovely idea. I always have odd quantities of pasta left around, as I seem incapable of cooking up the right quantity for two servings! I could see taking this a few directions:

1) Something slightly more mini-quiche-like, with a bit of extra egg and a dash of cream, plus a soft vegetable like broccoli and some grated parmesan

2) Roasted red peppers and goat cheese or caramelized onion, possibly with a slice of fresh tomato on one side (cook through mostly on the first side, then just lightly cook the tomato)

3) Lemon zest, little bit of thyme, and a some ricotta in the egg

Any way, yum.

 

sunniebgi
January 26, 2007

What a Great Idea. with a little variation, my children might even go for left over noodles. Thanks

 

fayefood.com
January 26, 2007

These sound really good. I would reccommend not rinsing the noodles, just let them cook on their own a bit. Rinsing takes away the starch, protein, and flavor from the pasta, especially if you are using the good stuff. If you don't rinse, whatever you add to a noodle will stick better.
Also, I might throw the tofu in with some minced garlic, fresh ginger and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor a bit.
I always love the idea of transforming left overs and having great food within minutes.

 

Jody
January 26, 2007

My grandmother makes (and now I make too) a dish similar to this. Usually with regular spaghetti noodles. You just mix up equal amounts of beaten egg and grated Parmesan cheese until it's kind of goopy, then dunk a bunch of noodles into it. From there you quickly move the noodles into a frying pan with some hot oil, and stir-fry the spaghetti until it gets crispy and golden-brown. You can add whatever spices you like, but I always prefer just some salt and pepper. It's dee-lish!

 

Pebbles
January 27, 2007

I love this idea! I have a lot of noodles remaining from my "Orange Noodle" dish that I was about to toss....But these look great! And - I also love all the other ideas from everyone else. Did you have any issues with the noodles sticking to the biscuit cutter? Thanks!

 

Madam Chow
January 27, 2007

Heidi, your leftovers look like this?! I'm so ashamed! You've just motivated me to work on my food presentation!

 

Mara
January 27, 2007

I tried this out last night, but didn't have the round cookie cutters, so they fell apart some. Still delicious though. Kind of halfway between fried rice and seasoned noodles. Yum.

I also made the chickpea noodle soup not long ago, what a winner that was. Definitely putting it on the list of things to cook often.

 

Sue(coffeepot)
January 27, 2007

That is my kind of cooking. Thanks.

 

Deborah Dowd
January 27, 2007

These look great, just the type of recipe I am looking for! Finding a use for leftovers is the greatest test of creativity. I use leftover rice, combine with beaten eggs, a little salsa, grated cheese and chopped ham. Put into greased muffin tin, top with more cheese and bake until set and cheese is browned and bubbly. These "rice cakes" are great for a quick breakfast on the run, packing in lunches, etc.

 

Charles Caster
January 28, 2007

Youre a weirdo...who eats noodle patties...gross.

 

Heidi
January 28, 2007

I dunno, I thought they were pretty good.

Love all the suggestions and variations :) -h

 

that pic is amazing. nice work. looks tasty too!

 

Kristen
January 29, 2007

If my leftovers looked this good, I'd be posting about them too. Wow!!

 

Nicole Barker
January 30, 2007

I had leftover rice, no cilantro or green onions, so I modified the recipe a bit. Rice, egg, chopped white onions (I would have preferred red onion), tofu, peas, red curry paste, and creamed coconut. I also didn't have an egg ring OR a muffin pan (I'm a grad student), so I just fried the patties in a pan. Some were messier than others but if I let them get crispy on one side, they flipped ok. Picture of a cooking pattie and a cooked pattie here: http://bp3.blogger.com/_fWLm4SAZzRo/Rb9A179vQcI/AAAAAAAAAGA/W_McKTs0MRI/s1600-h/curry+rice+patties+smaller.jpg (I also have to work on my food photography skills!)
I served my patties with curried (curry powder, not paste) sweet potato fries. It wasn't TOO much of a culture clash!

 

Maria Packman
January 31, 2007

Yum! My roommate and I are always looking for a solution to the What's For Dinner dilemma, but we usually eschew the noodles and eggs unless we're feeling really desperate or lazy. This could help us out. And hey, for us ghetto gourmets, what about using instant noodles? Mix the seasoning pouch with the egg (and whatever other junk is lurking in the 'fridge), adding some drained noodles and frying as usual? This calls for experimentation!

 

berd neldins
January 31, 2007

these look beautiful and sound delicious! some of the suggested variations from folks sound great too. I intend to make them soon. A question though with regard to the vegans frequently at table... Can anyone suggest a "binder" glop that could be substituted forthe eggs? This would be useful information in any other recipes that use eggs to serve that function too.

Ideas, anyone???

 

Amber
February 1, 2007

This looks AMAZING. I always end up chucking old noodles because somehow we make too much and have NO idea what to do with them. I *love* this idea, and I'm going to try it with all our weird leftovers.

Thank you, Heidi!