Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sweet and Hot Noodles with Tofu and Veggies

I've had a busy couple of weeks, what with my sparkling social life and all these kids insisting I teach them how to read. I haven't had much creative energy left for the kitchen, but I have enjoyed reading about what other vegan bloggers are eating. Recently Vegan Dad posted a recipe for sweet n' hot noodles that's been gnawing at me. Today was rainy and cold, and while I should have been focusing on Nate the Great, I was imagining spicy noodles.

This is my take on Vegan Dad's excellent recipe. I added lots of vegetables, and instructions for frying the tofu. The sauce has the tang of vinegar and sugar, the saliva-gland tickling concoction my mom used to make me swallow for hiccups. I modified it a bit, because it wasn't spicy enough for me, and I couldn't bring myself to put a half cup of sugar in each serving. You could probably get away with even less sugar than I used.

When my husband came home he said, "Mmm! It smells like a Chinese restaurant in here!" And now we know what produces that smell: lots and lots of sugar and frying. Mmm, indeed.

Sweet and Hot Noodles with Tofu and Veggies

8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cubed
1/4 cup vegetable oil

About 5 cups of any veggies you'd like. Thinly sliced cabbage, snow peas, zucchini, or water chestnuts would work well. I used what I had in the fridge:
2 large carrots
1 bell pepper
1 bunch broccoli

1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1/4 teaspoon tiger teeth pepper, or dried chili flakes (optional)

8 ounces rice noodles
1 bunch green onions, whites only, chopped
lime slices, for garnish

Heat a wok, or your largest pan, to medium-high. Pour in the oil, then the tofu. Let the tofu fry away for 5 minutes, then shuffle it around with a spatula. Repeat until the tofu cubes are crispy and mostly golden. This took 15 minutes for my small cubes.

While the tofu fries, slice your vegetables thinly. Bring a pot of water to boil for the noodles.

When the tofu is done, set it on a paper towel. Reserving the remaining oil, throw the vegetables in the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, until bright and slightly softened (5-8 minutes).

While the vegetables sauté, boil the rice noodles according to their instructions. Mine took five minutes, but yours may take more or less time depending on their thickness. Drain the noodles.

Prepare the sauce: bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small pot. Simmer and stir for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, chili garlic sauce, and any additional heat. Don't breath in the fumes! They will burn your brain.

Add the cooked noodles, fried tofu, and chili sauce to the pan with the vegetables. Toss everything to mix thoroughly. Cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing in the pan, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the green onions and serve.

Serves 4.

1 comment:

  1. This looks heavenly and fresh...and my guess is you've already read Nate the Great, so you could focus on food!


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