Beer Infused Noodles Japanese Style

Stout infused noodles

Howdy folks! It’s been a while since I cooked something totally wacky like these beer infused noodles!

Using beer in my cooking is not anything new. I have done this in the past with a fair amount of success.

But if you know anything about using beer in cooking, you’ll know I played it safe. I used a lightly hopped lager/pale ale to make the sauce, increasing the chances of success.

This time my cooking is inspired by a recipe post that I read on BeerAdvocate!

These guys know their beer and can get extremely technical about the tasting notes, aromas and what not. Anyhow what caught my attention was the use of an Imperial Stout (one of my favorite beer styles) in cooking some asian style noodles. Whoa! I thought I should try this one out.

If you are a freestyle chef, you know you can’t work easily with ingredients whose flavors you aren’t familiar with, even while following a recipe.

This recipe uses a few different ingredients like that, which I had never cooked before with. But I was open to experiment, although I could sense a bit of restraint when I finally got to trying them out. I had to literally taste after each and every step to make sure what was in the works tasted yum.

stout infused noodles theinsanefoodie

The first time I attempted this, I’ll be frank, it wasn’t a huge hit! It was palatable, but Dee being the honest critic she is, didn’t say much when she quietly ate her’s 🙁 , but I wasn’t giving up just yet!

So I read up more and was more careful on the second attempt and what came out tasted delicious. The notes below will help you heaps!

Cooking Notes {what you should know before you venture out!}

Choosing the right beer

  • The simple trick is to pair a beer style with complementing food flavors. Like how red wine goes with dark meats, BBQs, gamey meats & white wine goes with seafood and other lighter flavors, pick a dark beer (Stouts or Porters – such as an Imperial Stout/Oatmeal Stout/Chocolate Stout) if you wish to enhance the flavors of dark meats such as beef. You really can’t go wrong. Chocolate flavors especially blend extremely well with beef.
  • Belgian Ales with citrusy flavors are supposed to work really well with seafood, if that’s you thing. But since it’s winter in Melbourne, I picked the Southwark Stout. This is an award winning Aussie Old Imperial Style stout that is rich with an inviting smell of coffee and a chocolate aftertaste! Oh I’m salivating already..

It’s a winter warmer as you must have figured, and if you love beer, coffee and chocolate, this one is a winner! Another option is The Coopers Extra Stout – another brilliant brew. After you’ve tasted it, Guinness will be a thing of the past!

  • Use a beer you like to drink and something not too cheap. Because when you use beer in cooking, the flavors will intensify.
  • Make sure you add a little beer at a time into your cooking. There is a chance the happiness of strong stouts can make your sauce taste quite bitter.
  • Bring the beer to room temperature before using it.

For more in-depth reading, check out the entire post on wikiHow.

Recipe Notes

  • I found making the sauce separately and boiling the noodles in it easier than doing it all in one vessel, in one go!
  • The enoki mushrooms takes the form of soft string noodles once cooked down & in my first attempt I added them before the beef and I couldn’t really brown the beef enough.
  • Familiarize yourself how Miso tastes (very salty) and make adjustments to the amount accordingly.
  • Mixing miso paste & the sauces separately and adding it into the cooking vessel is highly recommended, as it takes a bit of stirring to dissolve miso completely.

So here is the detailed recipe and some notes along the way to help you get it right.

Beer Infused Noodles Japanese Style

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 serves

Ingredients

  • 250g dried Asian wheat noodles
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic (keep ginger to garlic ratio approx. 1:1.5)
  • 3/4 tbsp Miso paste
  • 1/4 cup Japanese soy sauce (if not use Chinese)
  • 3 tbsp Hoisin sauce sweet; use it to balance the flavors
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 120-150ml Beer (use Imperial/Oatmeal/Chocolate/Coffee Stouts/Porters)
  • 50g fresh shitake mushrooms sliced
  • 150g fresh enoki mushrooms discard the woody base & separate the mushrooms and add
  • as whole
  • 1 large onion sliced fine length wise
  • 1 carrot cut into half and then sliced fine length wise
  • 200g beef sliced thin or use stir-fry cut
  • water
  • salt to season as required

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok or thick bottom non-stick vessel
  2. Add onions, brown until caramelized
  3. Add ginger & garlic and fry until fragrant
  4. Add the beef and keep tossing it on a high flame, stirring it to make sure the beef is lightly
  5. browned.
  6. To this add the mushrooms and cook them down for 2 minutes. This will bring the nutty & earthy
  7. flavors out!
  8. Add about 3 tbsp of soy sauce to deglaze the mixture and infuse the flavor into it.
  9. Keep tossing until the beef has soaked up all the soy sauce and until all the water from the beef
  10. has dried up
  11. Add the carrots and cook for another minute - I like my carrots crunchy & fresh, but you can cook
  12. it down if you wish
  13. Stir well to combine and turn off the heat & keep aside.
  14. Sauce & Noodles
  15. In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the soy sauce, miso paste, Sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce
  16. and some water to combine them into a paste.
  17. In a deep bottom pan/vessel, add the sauce mixture, about 100 ml water and add the dried
  18. noodles into this sauce.
  19. Add beer, a little at a time and spoon the boiling sauce over the noodles, until the noodles
  20. become tender.
  21. Transfer the cooked noodles into the vessel with the other cooked ingredients. Toss & Serve!

Notes

Vegetarians can just omit beef. The earthiness of the shiitake and enoki mushrooms really blend well with the stout and is enough to impart a beautiful flavor to the noodles.

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