Fried Tofu "Takeout" Noodles
“Takeout” in the name is a clue about just how portable this cold noodle salad with Chinese inspiration really is. Make it and pack it up for picnics, office or school lunches, and potlucks. It comes together in three steps: making a ginger-flavored soy and sesame-oil dressing, boiling and cooling the noodles, and doing a quick stir-fry of the tofu and vegetables, before bringing everything together.
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
For the noodle salad:
- 9 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles, or 8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
- 1/2 block extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Canola oil
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into small slices
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1To make the sauce, in a bowl whisk together all of the ingredients until well combined and the sugar mostly dissolves. Set aside.
2Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the noodles until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain.
3Meanwhile, dry the tofu very well by pressing on it with paper towels. Dust with the cornstarch, turning to coat all sides.
4In a wok or large frying pan, warm a glug of canola oil until it shimmers. Add the tofu cubes in a single layer and fry until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
5Add the carrot, bell pepper, and sugar snap peas to the pan and sauté, stirring, until just tender. Add the drained noodles along with the reserved sauce and tofu. Add Sriracha to taste. Stir-fry until warmed through and well combined (I like to use tongs to get the noodles really well coated), about 2 minutes.
6Divide between bowls, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve.
Photos by Chris Rochelle
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