A classic combination, revamped by Wokit
Black bean noodles—or rather, spaghetti, as they’re technically called—are just that: black beans, ground down and rolled into wiggly lengths. “There’s nothing else in them—maybe a bit of salt,” shrugs Richard Martin, owner of Wokit. “The specialist guys we get them from source and produce everything ethically, and they’re non-GMO verified, organic and gluten free—very good if you have IBS or a sensitive stomach.”
While at Wokit you can make up a box of whatever you like, choosing from a selection of seasonal vegetables, fish, meat and sauces, Richard advises sticking to a much-loved classic when it comes to these special noodles. “They’re really good with beef, mushrooms, and—though this might be a bit overkill for some—I would suggest our black bean barbecue sauce. It’s so yummy.”
The beef, sourced from a London-based British farmer, is “super lean, we only use really good cuts of meat”; the mushrooms (and all the other veg, including the cabbage, carrot, beansprout, spring onion, garlic and ginger base, as well as the veg in the sauces) comes from Ted’s Veg, over the road.
Rich, dark sauce
“The black bean sauce is a really rich, dark sauce. It’s made with gluten-free soy sauce, our homemade gochujang, which is like a chilli paste, sesame oil, garlic and black beans. And that’s it. There’s literally nothing else in any of our sauces: no preservatives, refined sugar or MSG.” For something a little lighter, “I would go with a miso coriander sauce—that’s white miso paste and fresh coriander from the Market. But the beef black bean is an awesome combination.”
Better yet, all packaging is wholly compostable, and almost nothing at Wokit goes to waste. “The guys come in and make the noodles and sauces in the mornings—they’re here early!—and normally everything is used up that same day, or if we have excess it’s used very early the next day,” he continues. “It’s really labour-intensive to do it that way, to produce it each morning rather than batch produce it, but it means we have pretty much zero waste at Wokit, and the customer gets the best quality product, too.”
The noodles are earthy, al dente, and complement the beef and sticky, salty sauce deliciously. It’s ‘clean’ tasting: often when it comes to noodle bars, things can feel a bit, well, greasy. “The trick is, we use rapeseed oil, which has a high smoke point, so it’s not going to deteriorate under the high temperatures we cook at, and we don’t use too much of it,” Richard explains.
Faces and fronts
“A lot of places use so much oil, they line the wok with it. It’s the worst thing to do. You can tell when you walk in that we don’t do that here, because there’s none of that oily smell, just good food, and our extraction system is really clean”—which is more than can be said for our faces and fronts, as we leave feeling wholly satisfied and just a little bit virtuous.