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I’m really excited to share the latest recipe for my Saturday Night Supper series! Why? Because it’s a recipe development totally unlike anything I’ve shared on this site before. The recipe for these Asian roasted beets with noodles comes straight from a bottle of Obsession Red Blend.
After partnering with Obsession Wines on a curried vegetable galette to pair with their Obsession Symphony, I knew I wanted to create something with their Red Blend.
OBSESSION WINES 2016 CALIFORNIA RED BLEND
The flavors of the 2016 Obsession Red were the driving force of my culinary creativity. The tasting notes include spices of clove and nutmeg, with flavors of chocolate, plum, and blueberry. I also pick up aromas of fermented puerh tea, with smoky, earthy, mushroomy notes. With those flavors in mind, I set out to create a dish that mimicked the prominent flavors of this bold, red wine.
ASIAN ROASTED BEETS AND TEA INFUSED NOODLES
FINDING SAUCY INSPIRATION
I started with the deep cocoa flavors of the wine, combined with the flavors of the tea. I grew up drinking this tea, but didn’t always know it as puerh. In Cantonese, it’s called “bo lei.” The combination of the cocoa and Asian flavors reminded me of a gochujang chocolate with red miso from Puur Chocolat that I’d had recently. Immediately I know I had to pair those together, and somehow incorporate the tea.
Instead of miso, I opted for the Korean fermented soybean paste doenjang. Though they are both fermented soybean pastes, the consistency and flavor differ slightly. I’ve often heard doenjang called “miso’s funkier tasting cousin.” Check out this article for an overview of doenjang vs miso. I used this brand of doenjang (<-affiliate) which I found at my local grocery store in the international food section. It also happens to be vegetarian, though some producers may have fish or shrimp as an ingredient. There’s also this combo pack of gochujang and doenjang (<-affiliate), both of which you’ll want for these Asian roasted beets with noodles.
SELECTING A FEATURED VEGETABLE
Once I had picked my sauce components, I started brainstorming what kind of vegetable I wanted to use in this recipe. Beets immediately came to mind, both for the deep red color that matched the color of the Obsession Red Blend. And for the earthy, slightly sweet flavor. They also add texture to the dish. I like my Asian roasted beets on the crunchier side. If you want very tender beets, be sure to roast them for a longer time. Boiling them is also an option.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Once I had the components of the sauce and the vegetable, I needed a final dish. Often wine gets paired with western cuisines like pasta. The official pairing suggestions even included a wild mushroom pasta. I loved the idea of a beet ravioli, made with wonton wrappers. But since this was going to be part of my Saturday Night Supper series, I wanted something a little less labor intensive. Something that could scale easily. And something that stayed true to the Asian origins of the flavors.
So I decided on Asian noodles to pair with these Asian roasted beets. Rice noodles, udon noodles, ramen noodles, or mung bean noodles are all excellent options to pair with the Asian roasted beets. I originally made this recipe with rice noodles (<-affiliate), which are relatively easy to find in the international section of your local grocery store. I would also highly recommend making this recipe with mung bean thread noodles (<-affiliate). Theses really absorb the flavor of the tea and are a softer, chewier noodle. But, they can be harder to find. Check any Asian grocery store you may have near by.
The final product includes noodles cooked in pu erh tea to absorb the smoky fermented flavor. These tea infused noodles are then tossed with spicy, saucy roasted beets. Ultimately served with a sprinkle of fresh green onion, crunchy cacao nibs, and sesame seeds. A perfect pairing of Asian roasted beets and tea infused noodles with Obsession Red.
Asian Roasted Beets and Tea Infused Noodles
These Asian roasted beets are paired with tea infused noodles and a bold red wine. Hints of sweet cocoa and spicy gochujang make it the perfect winter dish.
Asian Roasted Beets and Tea Infused Noodles
medium sized beetes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1.5 pounds)
6 to 8
bags pu erh tea, see note
Cacao nibs, for topping
Sliced green onions, for topping
Sesame seeds, for topping
pu erh tea
cooking liquid from noodles
toasted sesame oil
Roast the beets
Heat oven to 350°F.
Toss beets with olive oil and place on a bake sheet or roasting pan. Roast beets for 25 to 35 minutes until tender.
Prepare the noodles
While beets are roasting, add tea bags to boiling water in a small saucepan. Let steep 10 to 15 minutes until tea is very dark.
Remove tea bags and bring the tea to a boil.
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Make the dressing
Cut open the tea bags and pour the loose tea into a spice grinder. Add 1 teaspoon cacao nibs. Cover and grind until you have a fine powder.
In a small jar or bowl, combine ground tea and cacao nibs with gochujang and doenjang. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of cooking liquid from the noodles with 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
Assemble the Asian Roasted Beets with Noodles
Divide cooked noodles among 4 bowls.
Toss roasted beets with the dressing and spoon over the noodles.
Sprinkle with cacao nibs, green onions, and sesame seeds before serving.
I recommend a ratio of 2 tea bags per cup of water used for cooking the noodles. The key is to add the tea bags to the boiling water before adding the noodles. Some noodles absorb the flavor of the cooking liquid more than others.
I haven’t used them, but I was able to find gluten free doenjang and gluten free gochujang on Amazon. And be sure to use gluten free noodles like rice noodles or mung bean noodles.
Add grilled pork or barbecue chicken to this dish to best complement the flavors of the asian roasted beets and the wine.
CHECK THE FRIDGE
If you can’t find doenjang, you can opt for miso paste instead. I recommend red or white miso for this dish. This article is a great overview of the difference between the two.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Obsession Wines for providing product to pair with this recipe! Please also note that some links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. It’s these partnerships that help me keep this site running to provide you with free content weekly. I link to these products because I have used them and recommend them. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please let me know if you have any questions!