Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vegetarian Peanut Noodles

-2/3 cup peanut butter
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 cup water
-2 tbsp sesame oil (can sub olive oil if needed)
-4 tbs soy sauce
-1 thumb ginger
-1/2 lime juice
-crushed red pepper
-black pepper
-pasta: 1 package udon noodles (10 oz) (can sub rice noodles or linguine)
-1 onion, chopped
-more garlic
-carrots, chopped, shredded or diced
-broccoli, chopped
-red bell pepper, chopped
-1 container extra firm tofu

Optional toppings: chopped peanuts, scallions, sesame seeds

Directions: Boil noodles as directed on package. While noodles are boiling, chop tofu into pieces of desired size and pan fry with olive oil until golden. Set tofu aside, add more oil to pan and sautee the remaining vegetables. Separately, mix peanut butter, chopped garlic, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, crushed red pepper and black pepper in a sauce pan until heated through. Combine all ingredients. You can play around with the amount of sauce and vegetables to your taste.

Editors notes:
  • I'm not a tofu person, but I don't mind it at all when fried as above and broken into fairly small pieces. That way I view it as part of the sauce. If the tofu chunks are too big I just eat around them, and that defeats the purpose.
  • This recipe made fantastic leftovers, but I'd probably omit broccoli next time because the broccoli seems to take much longer to heat than the rest of the dish. And a cold bite of broccoli is no fun. Additional veggies can be added as desired.
  • If you don't use ginger frequently, you can keep some in your freezer for use in dishes like this.
  • We were out of lime so I used lemon with no ill effects.
  • Both the broccoli and peppers I used had been frozen and turned out fine. A nice way to save on chopping/prep time!
  • I used the same pan for the sauce, tofu and vegetables to minimize clean up time. As the tofu and vegetables finished I put them in my serving dish for tossing later with the pasta and sauce.

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