The versatility of rice sticks is endless!
Two packs of rice sticks from my local grocery store had been nestled in the back of my pantry for months. I was glad to remember that I had a couple packs to make a quick and delicious meal. The good thing about rice sticks is that they have a long shelf life. Just like regular rice. When I was running low on groceries and needed a quick meal, having these life savers in the pantry solved my dinner worries. I was looking like Denzel in that gif!
Rice sticks, are also referred to as rice noodles. This versatile food originates from China and is also eaten in many East and Southeast Asian countries such as Kerala, Sri Lanka, Laos, Singapore, and Malaysia. The main ingredient in this food is pretty simple, rice flour and water. I also want to mention that I have seen that rice sticks aka rice noodles come in two forms: thicker noodles and very thin vermicelli like width. This could be why some may choose to call them one name over the other in the Western world.
Growing up my Aunty would whip up a quick meal of rice sticks with some type of meat. It was usually chicken or shrimp. The rice sticks would be smothered in an umami flavored sauce made out of onion, tomato, and pepper puree. My Uncle would eat it right up! It was the perfect weeknight meal back then and that still remains now.
If you haven't guessed it yet, yes this dish is reminiscent of the beloved dish, jambalaya. I was inspired by my visit to NOLA a couple years ago. Its not exactly jambalaya but more "jambalaya-esque". When I am cooking with rice sticks I always think of the many rice dishes that I have been exposed to that can be easily incorporated. I already have another recipe I want to try right now as I type this. That is what makes this food so wonderful! If you are reading this and you are from a East or South Asian country mentioned, I thank your ancestors because WOW.
I am happy to share my spin of this easy and savory dish. If you have read this far, you are truly a gem and I appreciate you giving me the time to run my mouth by reading so intently! Lets get on to the recipe, shall we?!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
½ cup oil
1 sliced sweet onions
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 package rice sticks
1 chopped sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
4 chopped small sweet peppers
1 bunch green onions
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1 lb shrimp ( peeled and deveined)
1 pack Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage
½ tablespoon paprika powder
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon black pepper
½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon dried thyme
½ tablespoon dried basil
½ tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Medium size pot
Blender or food processor
Combine all ingredients for Creole seasoning and mix then set aside.
Use 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning for shrimp. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until done. Remove and set aside
Slice smoked sausage and saute in pan until browned. Then set aside.
Add ½ cup oil to a medium pot and heat on medium heat until hot. Add sliced onions and 1 tsp creole seasoning. Saute until onions are translucent and seasonings are well incorporated on medium heat. About 1 minute.
Add tomato paste and mix it into onions.
Turn the pot to medium low to simmer. While the base simmers, puree chopped sweet onion, 3 sweet peppers, garlic cloves, and chopped roma tomatoes in a blender or food processor.
Add puree mixture to the pot then add half of the green onions.
Add 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning. Stir ingredients then simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.
While the base sauce is simmering, fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add rice sticks and cook for 5 minutes until tender.
Drain cooked rick sticks. In portions, add rice sticks to the pot with base mixture and coat rice sticks. Continue until all rice sticks have been added
You want to make sure the rice sticks are well coated in the base sauce. Sprinkle the last portion of seasoning and evenly coat.
Add the last half of green onions and evenly distribute throughout the noodles.
Optional: sprinkle red chili flakes.