Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sesame and Cilantro Noodle Salad with Tofu

This recipe is adapted from the very similar one on Simply Recipes. I didn't make it up, I just changed it a bit, but it is very tasty! It was just right for a summer evening-- cool and can be prepped far ahead of time. I changed the recipe on Simply Recipes by adding sauteed tofu and decreasing the amount of oil. I think that it would also be good with a bit of lime juice and some bias cut snow peas or perhaps grated carrots.

What You Need:

Honey Soy Dressing
1/8 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper (I used Aleppo, and probably a full 1/2 Tablespoon)
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 package baked tofu (I used the "Thai" flavor)
8 ounces of vermicelli (i.e. angel hair pasta)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (more is fine)
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 bunch thinly sliced green onions
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

What you do:
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain.
  2. Prepare the dressing by combining (in a large microwave safe bowl) the oils and red pepper and nuking for 2 minutes. After the oil is heated, and the chili has been infused (yum!), add the honey and soy sauce. Mix well.
  3. Add the pasta to the oil mixture and chill for several hours.
  4. After you've mixed the pasta, prep the rest of the ingredients for easy assembly later. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Warm a pan on the stove on medium high heat. Add some vegetable oil (about 2 Tbsp) and wait for the oil to get hot. Carefully add the tofu (the oil will spit at you.) Brown the tofu on all sides (about 2 minutes, per) and place in a Tupperware. Add to the Tupperware the chopped cilantro, onions and red pepper.
  5. When ready to eat, combine the noodles with the Tupperware contents and top each serving with peanuts and sesame seeds.
We got about 4 very hefty servings out of this. Best of all, it sits well in the fridge for quick healthy lunches too.

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