Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rice Noodles with Tofu and Veggies



Little Sid's favorite thing to do in a grocery store, apart from driving the "Car-Cart", is to help his Mommy find things from the grocery list. As I said, "Can you get me the Tofu please", Sid returned with green bordered pack of Soft Tofu, with Po's (of Kung Fu Panda fame) pic. "Mummy... its Po....", he said cheerfully. "No not the green Po (Soft Tofu), I want Purple Po (Extra Firm Tofu)". "I cant find Purple Po", pat came the reply. The fact is Sid's color dictionary is limited to red, green, blue, yellow, black and white only.

I did find "Purple Po" and beside it there was this "Spiced Thick Dry Tofu". A few days ago, in Cooking Channel, I had seen this salad of Chinese Celery, with these spiced Dry Tofu, dressed with Chinese Spiced Oil, by Mark Bittman. And since then, I has wanted to try this pressed tofu. But I really did not expect to find it in a regular grocery store. So I blatantly ignored my "Purple Po" and came back home, excited about these new found love.






The World Wide Web failed to give me a suitable recipe use use my tofu. I took inspiration from my favorite Cantonese Style Noodles and created the following recipe.


What I needed:
Rice Noodles - 1 Packet
Cabbage - ½ cup (approx) chopped
Green Beans - ¼ cup (approx) sliced
Carrots - ¼ cup (approx) julienned 
Cauliflower - ¼ cup (approx) broken into little florets
Broccoli - ¼ cup (approx) broken into little florets
Mushrooms - ½ cup (approx) sliced
Yu choy sum - 1 bunch, leaves only, roughly torn by hands
Onions - 1 medium sliced
Spiced Thick Dry Tofu - 4 sliced, thinly sliced
Ginger - 2 tsp chopped finely
Garlic - 2 tsp chopped finely
Soy Sauce - 2 tsp
Oyster Sauce - 2 tsp
Chili Garlic paste - 2 tsp (optional, and the quantity depends on your heat tolerance)
Chicken or vegetable broth or stock - ½ cup
Cornstarch - 2tbsp mixed with water
Eggs - 2
Spring Onion Greens for garnish


How I did it:


Prep - 1: Wash, dry and chop the assorted veggies. You can use as many or as little veg as desired. Most of the veggies, I used were leftovers from other recipes.









Prep - 2: Prepare scramble eggs for garnish
In a bowl, combine eggs and salt and pinch of pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Pour the egg mixture into pan, stirring slowly. As soon as curds begin to form, increase heat to high and instead of stirring, use a spatula to fold the eggs over themselves while gently shaking the pan with your other hand. As soon as no more liquid is running around the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat and reserve. 




STEP 1 to 3


STEP 4 to 6


STEP 7 to 9





1. Heat Oil on moderate heat and add the garlic and ginger and let it sizzle for 30 seconds.

2. Add the onions and sauté for another 30 to 40 seconds.

3. Now add the sliced Tofu and fry for 1 minute.

4. Now add the Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, and Chili Garlic Paste and give it a good mix.

5. Now add the Mushrooms fry for a minute.

6. Add the shredded cabbage and mix well.

7. Add the assorted veggies and give a quick stir.

8. Add ½ cup of Chicken or Veg Broth and bring to a boil and then add the Yu Choy Sum and mix 
well. Do a taste-check and add salt and pepper accordingly.

9. Now make a paste of 2 tbsp of cornstarch with little water and add and let the gravy thicken to a coating consistency. The last 3 steps should not take more than 2 minutes. You do not want the veggies to cook till mushy in the broth. They should retain their crunch.

10. While on step-8, in a separate larger saucepan or a soup pot, bring a potful of salted water to a boil.   Take it off the heat and soak the rice noodle for 2-3 mins, till soft. Drain and sprinkle a 5-6 drops of sesame seed for flavor. 


To plate it, follow the pic: 


1. Make a bed of rice noodle in your serving plate.
2. Top with a generous amount of veggie gravy.
3. Garnish with Scrambled Eggs and Scallion Greens.


Rice Noodles with Tofu and Veggies is ready to be devoured. Though the cooking time is very less and  not complicated at all, still I won't call it a easy-breezy recipe, because, the prep required some effort... a lot actually. Cleaning and chopping the veggies, making scrambled eggs, mincing the garlic and ginger, took good 30 mins. But the end result was worth the effort. Do give this a try. The spiced dry tofu was very mildly spiced. I actually could not make out the difference between a extra firm tofu and the dry ones, except for the moisture bit. I felt the word "spiced" is a misnomer here. However, the tofu beautifully absorbed the various sauces and were extremely flavorful once stir-fried.


Diabetic Platter: This is a excellent vegetarian one dish meal, an ideal diabetic platter in itself. The rice noodles provides the carbs. Tofu is the protein factor and loads of veggies provide you with the essential minerals and fiber. For a more healthier option, you can reduce the helping of the noodles and increase the veggie portion. We has a warm serving of Wonton Soup as a prelude to this wonderful meal.








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