Who knew rice noodles had so many calories?

I’m a big fan of  mai fun noodles, and coming from a gal who usually eschews pasta that is saying a lot. But rice noodles aren’t pasta-y, by which I mean they aren’t heavy and gummy and thick in my mouth. They’re light and fun and easy and holy cow that is a lot of calories for 2 ounces!

We’ve been sitting on a bag of rice noodles for quite a while, but I hadn’t found quite the right combination of other ingredients to use with them. Obviously they really want something vaguely Asian at the very least – I do not under any circumstances recommend just opening a jar of marinara sauce and dousing them like one might spaghetti. Well, you might. I wouldn’t. Anyway, last night I made two dishes featuring the mai fun noodles – a simple mock-stir fry with scallops and a half-complete miso soup. Then I promptly died upon calculating the sodium in the soup, so you win some you lose some.

Rice noodles with scallops and vegetables I started the scallops on the stovetop grill pan with a little bit of kosher salt and pepper. I used some cooking spray rather than butter or oil and let them hang out til a few were lightly browned. If I could go back, I would give them all about two more minutes – I hadn’t decided the whole plan yet when I began, and I assumed I’d be able to get a deeper browning when I added them back onto the grill pan. I set the scallops aside and dumped a bunch of vegetables onto the same pan.

Clearly my lack of plan is evidenced by such helpful terms as “bunch of”. To be honest, I think it was three different half-filled bags of frozen vegetables, including one that was definitely all broccoli and one that was definitely all green beans. The other one, though? Um, I see some carrots. And I ate some carrots. Pea pods? Maybe some peppers? I rarely buy frozen vegetables so when I do, you’d think I’d pay more attention.

While the vegetables were on the grill pan, I added another pinch of kosher salt and about 30 sprays of Wishbone Asian Silk Salad Spritzer on a whim. A good whim, it turns out.

I knew the vegetables would take a while (ahem. frozen.) so I waited until they were on the grill pan to start the rice noodles. They don’t need to boil like regular pasta, although I did end up boiling the water because I got distracted. By the nutrition information. Which was astounding. 200 calories for 2 ounces of noodles! 48 carbs! and 130 mgs of sodium! Maybe I’m not such a big fan afterall. 2 ounces is a pittance.

I added the scallops back into the vegetables after I recovered. Slopped them around for a minute or two (that’s when I realized they weren’t going to brown further) and drained the mai fun noodles. I measured out my 2 ounces and added a heaping pile of vegetables and scallops. I was a little worried about the lack of a true sauce, but my concern was unfounded. The boys loved it and I was sated and there was still enough vegetables and scallops left for lunch today.

But there were still so many noodles left! So I decided to whip up some miso soup because it’s freakishly easy and gives a nice base to the noodles – which will stick, just like pasta, if left without a lubricant. Second nutritional label shock of the night: miso. Duh. It’s like, made of salt. And soy beans. But mostly salt. I have not calculated the nutritional content of the soup yet, by the way, since I haven’t actually eaten it and the boys could care less.

Miso soup with edamameMiso soup is just miso paste + boiling water + whatever. In this case, rice noodles and edamame. I realized at about this point in the process that we didn’t have tofu OR mushrooms in the house. I added a bag of edamame and will most likely reinforce the soup this evening if we go to the grocery store. Just an estimate…probably a cup of this stuff is a day and a half’s worth of sodium and pushing 600 calories. It’s just too easy to scoop up a ginormous wad of tangly noodles and not realize the impact on your daily intake! Sure smells delicious though.

So, there lies my long-awaited cooking with mai fun noodles. For as long as they sat in the pantry, it seems a bit anti-climactic. That happened this week with butternut squash as well, but that’s an entirely different story.

Nutritional information for 2 ounces rice noodles with 20 small scallops and a cup and a half of vegetables, approximate: 438 calories, 21.1 grams of fat, 92.9mg cholesterol, 1,070.8mg sodium (ugh!), 63.3 grams carbohydrates, 4.4g fiber, 2.8 grams sugar, 40.6 grams protein.

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