Marinated Tofu with Udon Noodles & Vegetables
Tofu. That's that funny, flavorless, white putty that people in Asia eat, right? Hmmm... somehow, actually, I really don't think so! What I actually think is, that we Westerners simply don't know how to prepare it properly! Maybe THAT is the real reason that it tastes so bland to us most of the time!
But I have good news for you- and for me too! Next time that you are at your Asian supermarket, buy yourself some of the dark red/brown colored tofu instead,... you can cut out all the guess-work and short-cut straight to the real, good stuff!
And whilst you are at it, pick up some lovely, thick, chewy Udon noodles too! So satisfying and so different to the same-old, same-old fried noodles... easy, cheap and simply yummy to eat!
I added a few simple vegetables to my tofu and noodles... 2 dried Shiitake mushrooms, 1 Spring onion, 1 red pepper, a handful of sugar-snap peas, about 2" of fresh ginger, a good handful of salted peanuts and some fresh coriander. Along with a little Thai fish sauce and sweet chili sauce... that was all I needed!
And the resulting dish was not only gorgeous to look at, but also simply delicious and filling too! Oh... the fact that it took less than 15 minutes to make is also a great thing in itself!
I soaked the Shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for 10 minutes whilst I cut up the pepper, peas and Spring onion into bite-sized pieces and chopped the ginger into a fine shred, then took the mushrooms and cut them into quarters as soon as they were soft enough.
Pop the noodles into a saucepan of boiling water and let them cook for 5 minutes- in the meantime, start off with the ginger, then add the pepper and tofu and fry in a neutral oil- I used peanut oil as you can get it nice and hot without it becoming smokey. Fry for 4-5 minutes, until the tofu begins to blister a little and the pepper, peas and onion begin to brown, then add a splash of water and season with Thai fish sauce and sweet chili sauce- nice and simple. The water will help to disperse and distribute the seasoning and flavor into all of the ingredients and will soon render them down to a nice, glossy coating. The tofu is already packed with flavor from its marinade of soy sauce, 5 spice and tamarind... hurray for a great convenience food!
Serve with a generous sprinkle of finely chopped salted peanuts for an added crunch and flavor, with plenty of finely chopped coriander (cilantro)... and a broad smile!
I for one find this so much more appealing than the bland, white stuff- and trust me- I have marinated tofu before in the past... and it is not very likely that your own efforts will get you results like this! And also- why knock-yourself out trying when you can just buy it this way? Please... if you are not making your own tofu fresh- just get the good stuff at the store and simply enjoy!
Not only does it have a much better taste, from its tasty coating, but it also has a much better texture and consistency too!
Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it? Hehe!
Grab a pair of chopsticks and come share with me... nah! Come to think of it... go make your own instead!