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Year of the Noodle: Week 5

I love tofu.  Not many people would own up to that, I’m guessing, because tofu has such a bad wrap.  But it can be so good.  Even in this recipe, where there’s no additional flavoring added to the tofu before you cook it, I though the tofu tasted delicious.  Just cube it on the smaller side, and fry it until fully golden.  Yum.  If you absolutely loathe tofu, I’m sure chicken would be a suitable substitute.  Not nearly as authentic, though :)

My noodles turned out a little gluey, so you’ll probably want to use some type of rice noodle instead of the udon noodles I used.  This recipe has great flavor, but the dressing is a bit sweet and after a while the taste becomes one dimensional.  I think this dish would be best served alongside a couple of Asian vegetable dishes, rather than on its own as a main entree.  It’s quite good, though.  Give it (and the tofu) a chance.

Orange Sesame Noodles with Tofu

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. fresh Chinese lo mein noodles (I used Udon Noodles)
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil, or more as needed
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 lb. tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 bunch watercress, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 lbs. bok choy, rinsed, ends thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves, as garnish
Dressing
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • Juice of 1/2 large orange
  • Grated zest from 1 whole orange
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
Directions
  1. Bring pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat and when at a rolling boil, add fresh noodles. Cook for about 3 minutes, drain in colander and rinse well under cold water. Set aside to continue draining.
  2. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat and stir-fry garlic and ginger until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.
  3. Add tofu, adding more oil as necessary, and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it turns golden. Remove from wok.
  4. Add scallions and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add bok choy, adding more oil if necessary, and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until tender; add watercress and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Return garlic, ginger and tofu to wok and stir-fry 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  5. To make dressing, combine all ingredients in small bowl and mix well.
  6. Place noodles in large serving bowl and toss with half of dressing. Add tofu and vegetables and toss with remaining dressing. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.
Source: Vegetarian Times
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