Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Asian Noodles with Broccolini and Tofu

Don't be afraid of tofu if you haven't tried it or haven't liked it in the past. I was not a big fan of it until I finally learned the trick to cooking it correctly - pressing the water out and then searing it until it's crispy on the outside. The best thing about this dish, howeverm besides the fact that it's quick and good weeknight meal, are the flavors - and you could certainly substitute shrimp for the tofu and snap peas or snow peas for the broccolini. I used broccolini here, sliced in half lengthwise, instead of regular broccoli, to mimic the noodles. Both broccoli and broccolini are in season in the spring and at the peak of their flavor.

Asian Noodles with Broccolini and Tofu
Serves 2

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce or Bragg liquid aminos
1 T. mirin or rice wine vinegar
2 T. + 2 t. sesame oil
3/4 t. Tabasco
8 oz. extra-firm tofu
8 oz. broccolini
1/2 c. green onions, white & light green parts only
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
6 oz. whole wheat or brown rice spaghetti or angel hair pasta

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, slice the tofu lengthwise into 4 rectangles and lay them out in between a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel. Put a few cookbooks or something similar on top of the tofu slices and let them compress for about 5 minutes.

Slice the broccolini lengthwise to make slimmer pieces. Thinly slice the green onions and set aside.

Heat 2 t. of the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, remove the tofu from the compress and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until it gets a light brown crust on each side, then set aside.

Meanwhile, when the water starts to boil, add the noodles and cook according to package directions, adding the broccolini during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain and place in a medium-sized bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce/Bragg liquid aminos, mirin or rice wine vinegar, 2 T. sesame oil, and tabasco. Slice the tofu into matchsticks and add it to the noodles and broccolini along with the green onions. Pour the dressing over it all and stir to coat. Divide into two servings and top with the toasted sliced almonds.

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