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Friday, August 26, 2011
Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Tofu - gluten free & vegan
It's been a beautiful week here in the Pacific Northwest. Some have even complained about the heat. I can't bring myself to complain about heat AKA too much sun because of how miserable it was all winter and spring. So I've been doing the merry dance that is opening and closing windows when it's cooler and warmer, keeping the blinds closed, and drinking lots of iced tea.
It's only been in the low 80s, so it's definitely not too hot to cook, and having sunshine certainly makes it waaaaaay easier to photograph. I know it's miserable other places, so all you people, use your imagination, and consider coming for a visit.
Rice Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Tofu
Start the noodles:
soak 8-12 oz rice noodles in hot water for 15 minutes or so
Tofu & Peanut sauce:
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice*
3 Tbsp peanut oil, or a neutral oil like grapeseed or corn
1 C almond milk, coconut milk, stock, or water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C chopped peanuts (optional)
Fry the tofu in about 2 Tbsp of peanut oil in a large frying pan. While the tofu is frying, put 1 Tbsp oil in another medium saucepan over medium hot. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and 5 Spice and cook for a minute or two.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes. Taste the sauce. sprinkle some salt to taste and add more soy sauce if it's too sweet.
Put it all together:
Turn the heat down to low on the sauce and add the tofu. Drain the noodles and saute them briefly in the tofu's frying pan.
Tongs work really well to serve the noodles. Spoon sauce on top.
*I got this in the bulk section of a natural grocery store in Southern CA, and I have no idea what's in it. Turmeric is a good alternative.
You can use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy if you'd like, or, to make the sauce less peanuty, use either peanut butter OR peanuts.
The key to frying tofu is to get all the water out of it that you can. Usually I drain it really well and then wrap it in a clean towel and press down. Then rearrange the towel so dry parts are touching the tofu, and press down from the opposite side. voila.