Sunday, November 04, 2012

Noodles and Tofu


It's day 4 of NaBloPoMo and I'm putting the food back into the food blog. Jui requested quick and simple weeknight dinners and I think our dinner from last night fits the criteria.


Noodles and tofu are on my dinner menu when I'm craving Asian take-out, which is all too often. This dinner comes together very quickly but you do have 3 pots and pans to use: one to boil the noodles, another to fry the tofu and the third to saute the vegetables.

I have certain recipes that unabashedly use short-cuts for an otherwise made-from-scratch meal. This meal uses one such short-cut- Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce (soyaki is a word they made up. You know Trader Joe's and their dorky sense of humor). It is a vegan sauce with an ingredient list that is something like this: soy sauce, sugar, crushed garlic, sesame seeds, soybean oil, ginger puree, white vinegar, soy powder, sesame oil, garlic granules, minced onion, onion powder, ginger powder. Clearly it would be very easy to either make this sauce at home or to add the ingredients to the recipe as I go along. But like I said, I keep a bottle of this stuff handy. It is tasty, I don't have to think and we can have a good meal even when time and patience is in short supply. So feel free to use this or another brand of teriyaki sauce, or make your own (there are dozens of recipes on the internet).


1. Marinate the tofu: A couple of hours ahead of dinner time, drain the water from a package of extra firm tofu. Cut the tofu into bite sized slabs and pat them dry with a clean dish towel. Douse the tofu slabs liberally with the teriyaki sauce (1/4 cup or so). Let them marinate for an hour or two.

2. Boil noodles: About 30 minutes before dinner, put up some water to boil and cook noodles (any kind- Asian or Italian; this time I used whole wheat spaghetti). If you don't want to use noodles, have some cooked rice or quinoa handy.

3. Saute vegetables: In a wok or cast iron saute pan, heat some oil and saute lots of vegetables. Shredded cabbage, sliced peppers, mushrooms, onions, green beans, carrots all work well here. When the vegetables are crisp-tender, add some teriyaki sauce and peanut butter. Stir to make a nice creamy sauce coating the vegetables. Toss in the cooked noodles and a handful of chopped cilantro or green onions.

4. Finally, pan fry the tofu: Dust 2 tbsp. cornstarch into the bowl in which the tofu is marinating. Mix it in gently so the sauce-cornstarch mixture coats the tofu slabs. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the tofu in a single layer and fry it on both sides until golden brown. The cornstarch will form a wonderful crispy coating on the tofu.

Serve at once. Add some sriracha sauce to taste. Dig in!


28 comments:

  1. Delicious!
    I was off peanuts for a long time ( causing severe heartburn, migraines), but now thanks to Rx. I am on the peanut train again!
    I remember you have one more recipe for noodles that uses peanut butter that I have bookmarked. I will try them soon ( though I think I will go in for paneer over Tofu)!

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    1. Oh no, glad you are able to tolerate peanuts again. But for those who want to avoid peanuts, any other nut butter would also work here. Shoot, I might have posted this (or another very similar recipe) already! I can never remember what I have posted.

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    2. This is the post i meant: Noodle Salad in a Nutty Sauce
      You have peanut and almond butter in it.

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  2. looks delicious! and noodle dominant food is my go to too for comfort...

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    1. Yeah, this is one step above Maggi at least- which is my other go to for quick comfort :D

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  3. Wow..now thats what I call a quick and yummy recipe!! Like the person above mentioned I would go for paneer too because Soy is not really as nutritious as its made out to be (more on that here http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert), if you have to use soy, tempeh is a much better alternative to tofu as it less processed and fermented.

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    1. You know- that Weston A. Price has some strange agenda- everyone who talks about the dangers of soy refers to that website and yet their claims have never been substantiated. Each of us should do our own research and eat whatever we wish to eat, but I love tofu and choose to eat soy in moderation (just like I eat everything else in moderation). My views on soy are pretty much the same as this post from Zen Habits:
      http://zenhabits.net/soy/

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    2. I am not a WAPF follower/preacher but a lot of recommendations on their "agenda" make sense, like eat Real food: organic vegetables, good fats, raw milk from pastured animals, properly prepared grain products (fermenting/sprouting), meat from pastured animals which is what we have traditionally followed in India as well. But anyway I agree that moderation is the key, as Sridevi recently said in English Vinglish, jisse jo pasand hai usse woh khana chaiye!! :)
      -Anuja

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  4. Thank you nupur. Can't wait to try this one!

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  5. This is one yummy and simple dinner...love the idea of adding peanut butter.

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    1. The peanut butter adds wonderful creamy texture and flavor.

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  6. Seriously, more than the recipe or picture, I am amazed how you have time and energy to keep up with the posting! (with moving, baby all together) YaaaaY to you!

    Sorry i ranted the other day on making friends post.. :( Oddly, it is always a % of people in a big group of friends, that are the evil kind. How do we invite the ones we like and leave the disliked ones, when everyone is friends with each other?! Why dont all these evil minds join with fellow evil minds so that I can easily send them out..? Only God knows eh? And why did V not choose Seattle after graduation? grrrrr!!

    Another oddness, I dont think this is common in India - whether it be calling people on weekends or having to face the people you dont like.. may be, because there are so MANY people? :) Oops, I will cut the rant..

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    1. I think my policy is to never have a big group of friends, so I've never had to deal with the complexities of that dynamic. But honestly I don't think there is anything wrong with only inviting people that you like and get along with- friends are not a package deal. We have individual relationships with each of them. Life is too short- don't put with people/behavior you don't like :)

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  7. Nupur, really enjoing your daily posting. I know that you are an early riser. Would it be possible to write a post about how you do that and how you manage to accomplish so much in a day? Do you have any time management tips?

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    1. A couple of people have been asking for a similar post so I may jot down some things. Don't know that I have any magical tips though. Watch this space :)

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  8. Hi Nupur, just yesterday inspired by you and arundati (escapades) I jumped onto the NaBloPoMo bandwagon as well. Feels good to have your company all through this month. Read all your posts and hope u guys have settled in the new city. Noodles and tofu with any sauce from TJ's would taste yum!

    Love to U and the kiddo,
    Siri

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    1. YAY glad you're jumping in and playing along. I'll be happily reading your posts all month.

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  9. +1 for the request about time management! Where do you find so much time to do this all? Back when you were in St.Louis, I think there was a point when Lila was very young, you were back to work full time, you didn't have help at home and yet you were reading books, doing craft projects and posting recipes on your blog!! HOW?

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    1. Yeah, that was a crazy time but we ( V and me, baby and blog) survived, eh? Since folks are interested, I'll definitely write a post about this but I honestly don't know if I have any useful tips as much.

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  10. Love it!
    I was also wondering if as part of your November posts, would you like to write about small Indian cooking related gifts that we could give to friends and family? Not sure if what I am saying is clear but I have been racking my brains to make homemade goodies to give to my little son's teacher and other friends during Christmas. I do not mind baking cookies or making jam but I would like a desi twist to it. Any suggestions?
    it need not even be food related - like for example I loved the cute bags you made for Lila's teachers. So something nifty like that. Thanks for consdering!

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    1. OOh I LOVE making homemade gifts so I'll certainly write a post on this.

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  11. I'm loving this deluge of posts!
    And oh, sriracha and peanut butter--a match made in culinary heaven. One of my fave sandwiches features these two with bread-and-butter pickles. Sounds vile but is spectacular!

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    1. NO WAY! I have to try this sandwich! :D

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  12. hi , i love ur blog, it is amazing !
    just wanted to ask - any alternatives for the peanut/nutty sauce to add in the noodles ? I have peanut powder ( danyache kut ! ) any suggestions ? thnks !

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    1. If you have peanuts, you can make your own peanut butter (there are many tutorials online).

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