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?).