janet @ the taste space

Chinese Five Spice Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry

In Mains (Vegetarian) on May 1, 2012 at 5:42 AM

A new home; a new 5 keys.

Trust me, I am not complaining about now having a garage. Although 5 keys is certainly overwhelming. First front door, second front door, rear door, garage door and garage.

While we are still unpacking boxes, and likely will for many weeks, the kitchen is functional. The bedroom is almost unpacked (minus my clothes) and we have no idea what to with ourselves now that we have 3 bathrooms.

In any case, while Rob and I have moved many, many times before, this is the first time we hired movers. So completely worth it. Our friends and family must think so, as well. 😉 Our movers were work horses: incredibly strong, super fast while still being very gentle. One of the movers relished telling me a new joke every time he saw me. If anyone needs cheap, efficient movers in the GTA, shoot me an email and I’ll give you their contact info.

While there are many great things about our new place, we are kind of sad we don’t have a basement. You can really scurry things out of sight and mind, so our move forced Rob and I to go through another round of purging and incidentally, discover new things, as well.  Rob had some pretty bowls (and pretty chopsticks!) hidden in the basement that I unearthed! I also didn’t know that I had so many packages of kelp noodles. I knew I had bought a case (or two) when they went on sale, but looks like a lot more noodles once I take them out of the case. 😉

For one of my first meals in the new home, I decided to break in the kitchen with a quick and easy stir fry. I also inadvertently christened the kitchen by setting off the smoke alarm. I swear, there was nothing burning! I will have to be careful to not wake up my neighbors. I adapted Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Winter Stir Fry with Chinese Five Spice to what I had left in my vegetable crisper. Winter root vegetables are fabulous for keeping so long, but it felt nice to use up the remainder of my root veggies, along with some spring veggies. Goodbye winter, hello spring.

The heart of this stir fry is the Chinese Five Spice powder, which stems from the heart of Szechuan cooking. It is aromatic and savoury, composed of star anise, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns. A seven spice blend may also include ginger and black peppercorns. A complex spice blend, a little goes a long way and really shines here.

Throw in your own favourite vegetables with some noodles and then toss with a sake, tamari and Chinese five spice dressing. The drizzle of lime at the ends adds the perfect acidic balance to the veggie-centric meal. Feel like more protein? Add some tofu or tempeh. Me? My pantry is all cleaned out of tofu!

While I had been working through my pantry prior to this move, I plan on eating through the remainder over the next year before our BIG move to the US. Expect to see more recipes with kelp noodles! What are your favourite ways of eating them?

Here are a few other recipes with Chinese Five Spice:

Five Spice Roasted Delicata Squash from Appetite for Reduction
Fluffy Sesame Baked Tofu
from Sprint 2 the Table
Broccoli Slaw Salad with Five-Spice Tofu from Vegetarian Times
Chinese Five-Spice Noodles with Broccoli from Serious Eats
Smoky Pomegranate Tofu with Coconut Rice from Vegan with a Vengeance
Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup with Sautéed Shiitakes from Post Punk Kitchen
Chinese Five Spice Miso Soup with Shitakes and Edamame from Florida Coastal Cooking
Star Anise-Glazed Tempeh with Stir-Fried Peppers from Joanne Eats Well With Others

This is my submission to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Ruth, to this month’s pasta bloghop, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, Virtual Vegan Potluck and to Cookbooks Sundays.

Chinese Five Spice Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry
Adapted from River Cottage Veg Every Day! (original recipe here)

12 oz kelp noodles, rinsed and drained (or your favourite noodle)
2 tsp coconut oil, or oil of choice
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
1.25 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick (2 cups)
1 small parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced (1 cup)
4 cups mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (I used 1/2 cremini and 1/2 oyster mushrooms)
2 leaves of Swiss chard, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder (homemade or store-bought)
juice of half a lime juice (1-2 tbsp), to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Cook your noodles as per the package directions. For kelp noodles, rinse and drain.

2. Have all of your vegetables cut before starting.

3. In a non-stick wok over high heat, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion and chile flakes and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the green beans and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and parsnip and cook for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic and stir-fry for a couple more minutes.

4. Add the Swiss chard and cook another few minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the wok.

5. In the same wok, over medium-low heat, add your cooked noodles. Add the soy sauce, tamari, Chinese five spice powder and stir to mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the vegetables and toss together and keep warm. Squeeze lime juice overtop and mix well. Season to taste.

Serves 2.

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more on hiring movers – I did it several times without and looking back I wonder what I was thinking!

    Thank you for the shout out! I love 5 Spice. Yours is a great use – I love that you used parsnips in the mix!

  2. looks very much like the korean japchae to me, though that is made with sweet potato starch noodles! very yummy!

  3. This looks and sounds so original with the Chinese 5 spice–something I don’t make really good use of, I suspect. Nice to see such an appealing recipe using it. Thanks,

  4. I love having spice blends handy, store bought or home blended, it makes a quick meal into something that tastes like you spent 3 times as long making it! I never thought to use 5 spice in my stir fry dishes, though, only oyster sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, ginger and some other pastes and liquids! My mom uses 5 spice in her pork roast. I made it once when friends came over and it was just like mom’s, I was so happy!

  5. Yummy, that looks superb !!!

  6. This looks terrific! I may give it a try with rice noodles. I haven’t had much luck with kelp noodles. How do you keep them from being jaw-breakingly chewy?

    • Rice noodles would be fantastic here, too. For kelp noodles, they mellow if you heat them. I also find that if I store them for a day in a container, after rinsing them well, I find they aren’t “crunchy” at all.

  7. Looks delish! Nice to get extra info from the comments–will also try rice noodles, as trying to stay off gluten. And I hope the unpacking goes smoothly!

  8. I’m actually moving in a month also (but only a few floors down from my current apartment) and i’m kind of afraid of what I’m going to unearth…

    Unfortunately no kelp noodles though! I’ll have to pick some up to make this…if there’s one spice that always reels me in, it’s five-spice!

  9. that looks delish! I havent used 5 spice yet.. which needs to be corrected.. thats a lot of amazing recipes to try!

  10. Moving is always an adventure. Glad to hear your movers made it fun. As for your first dinner… looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. I love Chinese 5 Spice powder and Aleppo pepper even more

  11. Lucky you being able to use up all your root vegetables. As we are only just coming into winter here, I have a whole lot of root veggies ahead of me! Great recipe – I love the use of Chinese five-spice. I’m curious about the kelp noodles though – I’ve never come across them here, but would love to try them.

    Thanks for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays.

  12. oh I wish I had a bowl of this right now, it looks healthy and delicious. Great flavors and recipe 🙂

  13. this looks just like korean japchae noodles! great recipe! thanks for joining our #pastalove bloghop 🙂

  14. Wonderful recipe… it looks like the dan dan noodles I order at my favorite Chinese restaurant.

  15. […] month. I didn’t have many cookbooks to randomly pick at the beginning of the month due to the move, but since I already had River Cottage Veg Every Day! out, I picked that as my book. As it is a […]

  16. […] Chinese Five Spice, but have you heard of Bengali Five Spice? We already know Bengali cuisine likes to use an […]

  17. […] in ages, though. I have made a handful of Chinese meals at home, usually healthier vegetable stir-fries, where I can reduce the sauce myself without cornstarch and keep any sweeteners to a […]

  18. […] found a few recipes but settled on a savoury pickling spice, filled with all the components of Chinese five spice (Szechuan peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and fennel) along with bay leaves. I consulted […]

  19. […] has adopted this into his Repeater Recipes as a quick and simple meal both of us enjoy. We may have moved across town, from one Little Ethiopia to another, so we have easy access to injera. Terry also has a recipe for […]

  20. […] kitchen, instead of reinventing the wheel, I revamped an old favourite. This is a variation of my Chinese Five Spice Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry. Same flavours, mostly different vegetables. Turns out the original recipe called for winter […]

  21. […] made multiple skillets before, and each time I gush over its simplicity.  I swear, I wasn’t planning on sharing […]

  22. Excellent, simple stir fry recipe. I love five spice and always like to add it to my stir fries as an essential seasoning – to my mind, the simple combination of sesame oil, soy sauce and five spice (together with a base of chilli and garlic) is more than ample to make a wonderfully seasoned stir fry, and is infinitely better than the various store-bought stir fry sauces. Who wants a gloopy, saucy “stir fry” when you can have the real deal with five spice!

  23. […] Chinese Five Spice Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry from The Tastespace […]

  24. noodle dishes are my favourite and your recipe sounds appealing…thanx for sharing it with us…

  25. What a gorgeous, healthy and delectable dish.I just hopped by from Virtual Vegan Potluck to check out Chinese Five Spice Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry. My family will love it! It’s such a pleasure it is to explore your blog and your wonderful vegan recipes. I am sharing this and following you on social media to stay in
    touch! All the best, Deborah

  26. Yummmmmmmmm……I am a big fan of Chinese 5 Spice and use it often in baking and main dishes.

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