Spring is the season where everything awakens. For me it’s like a dream come true, because I’ve been dreaming about it all winter long. In my dream, I imagine walking out my door, and being greeted by tender blooming flowers and foliage emerging from the earth—the sweet smell of flowers and trees, the blissful sunlight, and a refreshing wind.
Since the weather is warmer, I unzip my jacket and throw it toward the back of my wardrobe. That’s the time when I realize that perhaps I’ve expanded just a size bigger. Oh no! Let’s come back to reality. It’s time to lose a couple of pounds.
So how to lose weight? I’d never make myself suffer by not eating. I’ve always believed that eating healthy balanced meals will do the magic. In order to uncover some secret healthy recipes, I met up with Chef Mie Okuda, the author of Thinking of You and owner of Momokawa in Kips Bay on the east side of Manhattan. Her book teaches people how to eat well and still be able maintain a healthy weight.
From the surface, Chef Mie is a graceful and shy Japanese woman. At her core, she’s a strong and efficient New Yorker. As I observed the way she works. She doesn’t waste any second and it almost seems like she can finish everything in just one second. She cuts her carrots with a superhero speed. “A chef’s knife is chef’s life,” Chef Mie told me. “I agree!” I said, especially since I carry mine in my purse all the time.
Chef Mie taught me a healthy sautéed Shirataki yam noodles recipe. Shirataki yam noodles are known as miracle noodles, because they have no calories and a lot of soluble fiber. They make you feel full and they cleanse out your stomach. The noodles also boost your energy level and speed up your metabolism. All you need to do is to replace one meal each day with Shirataki yam noodles.
1 package of shirataki yam cake noodles
2 mushrooms, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
1/3 of onion, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
1 ounce of carrots, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
1 leaf of cabbage, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
2 scallions, sliced
1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
½ teaspoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of mirin rice wine
1/2 teaspoon of bonito flake powder
A pinch of sesame seeds
- Blanch the shirataki yam cake noodles in hot water for 1 minutes and strain.
- Preheat a pan, add sesame oil, carrots, onions, mushrooms, ginger, and sauté for 2 minutes, and then introduce the soy sauce and stir a little more. Put the noodles in the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, bonito flake powder, mirin rice wine, cabbage, scallions and mix well. Serve on a plate and sprinkle sesame seeds on the top.
I really enjoyed the dish. As you bite into your first mouthful, you’ll feel many dimensions of textures—smooth and chewy noodles, and crunchy and juicy vegetables. It’s savory (umami). I can’t believe that the noodles contain no calories at all, and even after adding all the vegetables and sauce, it has less than 50 calories. No wonder people call it miracle noodles. And I call this, dream come true noodles! Let me know how you like this recipe. Happy eating and cooking!