Spicy Udon with Sichuan Tempeh

Recently knighted with the analogy of being the “Jay-Z of the Plant-Based World,” it’s pretty much unanimous that Matthew Kenney has continually been at the forefront of the revolutionary plant-based movement. Matthew’s vegan culinary academies have been recognized by Food & Wine magazine as one of the best cooking classes in the world and his restaurants are perpetually celebrated.  

Spearheaded by Matthew’s Director of Culinary Operations, Scott Winegard, Arata is their take on a noodle bar with an emphasis on fresh and local produce. Located in beautiful Belfast Maine, the restaurant offers dishes inspired by Far East flavors– think steamed buns, ramen, and kimchi pancakes. For a limited time, they brought their Arata concept to Plant Food & Wine, their almost disturbingly-gorgeous restaurant on Abbot-Kinney in Venice.  

We fortunately got to dine at their Arata pop-up and basically swooped up one of everything.  All the food that they offer is electric and modern, while still being approachable and namely delicious AF.  

Scott was generous enough to spend an afternoon with us and demonstrate how to prepare the most heavenly noodle dish that I’ve ever had. It’s so freaking good that if you don’t make this recipe, God would be disappointed. Well, I’m guessing he would be… if he’s a reasonable person.

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SICHUAN TEMPEH SAUSAGE:

Makes enough for 1 pound.

1 tablespoon Tamari

1 tablespoons Mirin

1 tablespoons Sichuan Peppercorns

2 tablespoons Agave Nectar

2 tablespoons Chinese Five Spice Powder

1 Garlic Clove, crushed

1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, finely grated

1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

2 Shallots, ends trimmed, cut into 4 centimeter lengths

1 teaspoon Salt

1 | Blend together until smooth.  

2 | Rub the tempeh with the marinade and bag overnight. The next day preheat a grill pan. Take the tempeh out of the bag and brush off the excess marinade. Brush the grill pan with grapeseed oil and grill on both sides. Make sure you rotate the tempeh to get cross hatch grill marks.

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CASHEW HOISIN:

Makes 2 cups.

½ cup Tamari

1 cup Soaked Cashews

¼ cup Maple Syrup

¼ cup Rice Vinegar

2 black Garlic Cloves, finely minced

1 tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil, toasted

¼ teaspoon Chili Flake

¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper                                                                                                     

3 | Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

ROASTED CASHEWS:

1 cup Raw Organic Cashew, soaked overnight in salted water.

4 | Strain cashews from salt water and dehydrate at 124 degrees for 8-12 hours.

5 | Spread cashews on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

6 | Remove from baking tray to let cool, and roughly chop the cashews.

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PLATE:

(Choice of Organic Udon Noodles cooked to instructions on package.)

1 cup of Cooked Udon Noodles

3 tablespoons Sauce

½ cup Tempeh Sausage

1 tablespoon Roasted Cashews

12 to 16 Sliced Radishes

1 small handful of Spicy Greens (mustard, arugula)

7 | Toss noodle with 3 tablespoons of cashew hoisin. Transfer to a ramen bowl, topping with warm grilled tempeh, roasted cashews, shaved radishes, and garnished with spicy greens.

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