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Spicy Noodles with Cilantro and Tofu

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 small package firm tofu
  • canola oil, enough to cover the bottom of a high-walled pot with about 1 inch
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 1 (6.75-ounce) package thin rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Instructions

  • Rinse the tofu and allow to drain for approximately 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Pour canola oil in a pan with relatively high sides. I like to have a good 4 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan to avoid splatter. Heat the oil to medium temperature and gently place one piece of tofu in the oil to test it. When the oil reaches a temperature where it is not popping and splattering but is bubbling around the tofu, put a few more pieces in. It goes without saying that you should be careful during this process. Don’t overcrowd the pan – do several batches to get all of the tofu fried.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and next 6 ingredients (through sambal).
  • Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces. Add noodles to bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Notes

adapted from Cooking Light
This recipe calls for quickly frying the tofu in canola oil, which is a good way to prepare tofu if you are one of the many who not fond of its texture. The secret to cooking tofu well is to rinse and fully drain it before you begin. However, this recipe is very adaptable, so cook the tofu any way you prefer or use any substitute – chicken, pork or vegetables.