Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Udon Noodles with Sesame Crusted Tofu

An actual recipe tonight! Our local Sobey's just started carrying udon noodles so I thought I would whip up a quick noodle dish. We all thought it was pretty good and the sesame seeds were a nice touch. If you are against the frying of the tofu, you could just toast the sesame seeds and add them to the dish along with the sauces. The rice vinegar caught my eye in the cupboard whilst I was assembling some ingredients and I am glad it did. I really need to use it more because it adds a nice brightness to the dish without being overpowering.

- udon noodles (I used 3 175g pkgs (i.e. those small packages you seen in Asian grocery stores))
- 1 pkg tofu, cubed
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- oil for frying
- 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Cook noodles according to the directions on the package.
2. Place tofu in a bowl and add sesame seeds. Toss until most of the seeds are stuck on the tofu (you don't need full coverage here). Add cornstarch and gently toss until tofu is coated. If you still have some seeds in the bottom of the bowl, dump the tofu out on a cookie sheet and roll the cubes in the excess seeds.
3. Fry tofu in some oil over medium heat until nicely golden. Turn regularly to brown all sides. You don't need a lot of oil here. Start with a relatively thin layer and add more as needed. Remove tofu from pan/wok and drain.
4. Add peppers, ginger and garlic to the pan (there should be just a bit of oil left) and stir fry for 3-4 mins, until softened and fragrant. Add noodles to the pan/wok and fry for a min.
5. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce and mix well. Add tofu and mix well. Cook until sauce thickens/soaks into the noodles. Adjust flavours/wetness to your liking by adding more of any of the three ingredients.
6. Remove from heat. Garnish with green onions. Serve.

There is still time to win a copy of The Vegan Dad Cookbook! In one day a staggering 340 people have correctly identified the mystery utensil and been entered into the draw. One measly cookbook seems so small in light of all those entrants. Maybe I should offer copies of the e-book as well . . . .

AND . . .
Have I mentioned the shad flies before? Every year at this time shad flies descend on our fair city. They rely on fresh water for their reproductive cycle, and because we live by a big lake we have learned to coexist. When we woke up this morning they were coating the house. It's pretty crazy to walk downtown and see thousands and thousands of shad flies covering just about everything. They are very docile and don't munch on the greenery, and kids love playing with them (did I mention they were docile?).


Millie said...

Because I live a few blocks away from Lake Erie we are flooded with these flies. Every morning I have to sweep them off the front of my house.

I love the dish you have prepared, that looks wonderful.

Laurie said...

This is my first year here with my new shadfly buddies! I work right on the main drag and our building is plastered already.

On an eerie note, I picked up some udon noodles at A&P today, decided I didn't know what to do with them, and set them back down. I'll be sure to buy them next time and make this. Sesame seeds are among my favourite flavours.

Joanne said...

Really good dish, I bet it would also be great with a peanut sauce!

Cmac said...

A few years back I went to North Bay to visit friends and they never told us about shad flies. We thought it was a heavy summer snowfall at night. I couldn't get over the fishy smell and the constant crunching as you walk over them. By the time I left North Bay the bed of my pickup truck was full of them Ick Ick Ick. On a side note the noodle dish looks great.

pixiepine said...

That dish looks great!

SargassoSea said...

340! Yikes! And here I thought I was a shoe-in to win this contest!

I'd be happy with a 'copy' of the e-book, too, I guess :)

I adore udon noodles... mmmm

vegan.in.brighton said...

Yum, that looks delicious - I'll be trying this recipe soon!

Megan said...

In Northern Ohio we call them Mayflies. The worst part about them is their fishy smell- and their short lifespan. We would have dump truck loads full of them in my little hometown. Best of luck with them!

Anonymous said...

tried this recipe today for dinner,it was really good:)love the site.

Ashley said...

This looks fantastic, can't wait to add it to next weeks meal plan menu.

VeganLisa said...

The Canada Day celebration at my place involved your kielbasa sausages. It was my brother's first attempt at making vegan sausages. He loved how fast they came together. I really appreciate that they are made of simple, healthy ingredients. The flavour was fantastic. Everyone raved about them. I know that your other sausage recipes are now on the roster for all upcoming summer BBQs.

Kelly said...

Mmmm. We've been getting the worst weather lately so eating salads has not been very appealing but this looks like a perfect recipe to get some veggies in. Yum!

Lenore said...

i think i know what the item is on the contest, but i can't enter since im from sweden =P Darn !

dreaminitvegan said...

The sesame coated tofu must really have a nice crunch. I must try. Great looking meal.

Peter said...

I made this tonight and it was very nice. I agree that the rice vinegar was a good touch although I upped the amount of soy sauce a bit. The only thing I found a problem with was frying the tofu, I felt like I had coated the pieces well enough but when i put them in the oil, the coating broke off and made a clump of sesame seeds in the center of the pan. Should I have dried the tofu more, or used less oil? I have always had problems frying tofu, any suggestions?

The uneven vegan dolls said...

This looks awesome! I will have to try it very very soon


Capital Mom said...

I made this tonight and it was very yummy. Even my two year old ate some. Thanks!

Vegan Dad said...

Hmmm. I don't dry the tofu so the seeds and cornstarch can stick to something. I would also suggest making sure the oil is at about 350 degrees so the coating cooks quickly.

Crystal said...

Hmm. I didn't have the hoisin sauce or the rice vinegar, so I used other vinegar and some white wine instead. However, the end result didn't really have a sauce. Whatever liquids I added (vinegar, soy sauce, wine) kept getting absorbed into the gloppiness. Perhaps I had too much cornstarch or too many noodles.

Great taste though. Thanks for another awesome recipe.

Leigh said...

Very good recipe and very simple!
I added carrots which was a nice addition.
Thank you!

Erik said...

I’ve made this twice and I had the same problems as Peter and Crystal. The tofu seemed to be coated well but came apart when frying. Then when the final dish is put together the tofu lacked that golden brown coating and the general composure of the dish was more on the dry side than what it appears to be from the picture.

Any tips? I really liked the idea and generally like the taste of the dish.

Vegan Dad said...

I'll have to make this again and see what happens. Some suggestions in the meantime: a little more oil in the pan (when I say "thin layer" I mean the tofu does not need to be submerged in oil). And, make sure the oil is hot (350 degrees) so it fries instead of soaks the coating. Also, be patient. Give each side some time to firm up. Other than that, you could try baking them in the oven at 400 degrees.

Nicole said...

Peter and Erik,
I find that corn starch on tofu makes it slimy anyway. Try a whole wheat flour.

I used Udon noodles and hoisin sauce for the first time and was not disappointed. Next time I will marinate the tofu because, even though the coating was great, the inside was bland. Everything else was excellent!