Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spicy Soba with Tofu

Linda, my Berkeley next-door neighbor who now lives in New York City, requested a tofu dish.  This one is excellent.

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 small fresh hot red chile, seeded, deveined, and minced (green is fine too)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoon tahini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chile oil, optional
Salt to taste

8 ounces dried soba noodles
½ bunch scallions, thinly sliced
12 ounces firm tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small fresh hot red chile, seeded, deveined, and minced, optional (green is fine too)
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon aleppo pepper or other mildly hot pepper or paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1. To make the sauce, heat the soy sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, chile, ginger and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the molasses, and heat until warm. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the sesame oil, tahini, vinegar and chile oil, if desired, to combine. Season to taste with salt. Set aside to cool.
2. To make the noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles, return to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until they are cooked, but still a bit firm. Drain the noodles. Set aside in a large bowl, if you want to serve them warm. Place them in a bowl of ice water if you want to serve them cold.
3. Combine the drained noodles with the dressing and scallions. Toss well. Place on a serving platter or low-sided bowl.
4. Drain the tofu. Pat dry and crumble. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the optional chile and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Increase the heat to medium high and add the crumbled tofu. Stir fry for a few minutes to sear the tofu. Remove from the heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Distribute the tofu over the prepared noodles and serve warm or cover and chill to serve cold. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper or other semi-hot pepper or paprika just before serving.

4 servings
Adapted from The Junior League of Honolulu, Inc.’s Aloha Days, Hula Nights

Menu suggestions:

Cauliflower, Caper and Pumpkin Seed Spread
For the Asian theme, this dip is great served with crispy rice crackers.

Cucumber Salad
Refreshing and so easy.

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