Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tofu & Glass Noodle Stir Fry

I was nine years old when my family moved to Verona, WI (near Madison, WI). On our first visit to my elementary school we met another family who had just moved to the area from England. My mother became close friends with the mother from the other family, Harwinder, in mere moments. Ever since, they've been more than family friends. To me, they are simply family.
You're probably wondering what this has to do with the mung bean noodles pictured above, right? I'm getting to it. Harwinder grew up in Malaysia and she makes, without exception, the best Indian, Malaysian, and Chinese food I have ever eaten. In my entire life. This woman is a talented, talented cook.
Since I walked home from school with her kids and hung out at their house "doing homework" after school (read: giggling about boys with their middle daughter, listening to English pop music and making a life-long friend), I often invited myself got invited to stay for dinner. I'm no fool. I knew even then that I was in the presence of culinary talent. I was also a vegetarian. Which (finally) brings me to my main point. This dish is based off of something Harwinder made for me a lot. It's vegetarian--vegan, in fact--and, to boot it can be made gluten free if you use La Choy brand soy sauce (I picked up this weird little factoid from working at a sushi restaurant in NYC). Plus, most importantly, it tastes really good. 
Tofu & Glass Noodle Stir Fry
By Alexandra Rogers, Inspired by Harwinder Dowd

Marinade + Tofu
1 (10 oz) block of high protein tofu, super firm
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup water
4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
Stir Fry
4 bundles of cellophane noodles (you can find them in the Asian food aisle of most large grocery stores)
3 Tablespoons oil (I used sunflower oil, but you can use whatever you like)
4-5 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) bag of snow peas
3/4 cup bean sprouts
1 Bok Choy

Marinade + Tofu
1.Chop tofu into squares that are 1/4" thick and 1" wide and long.
2. In a tupperware container combine soy sauce, water and chili garlic sauce. Add tofu and shake to coat evenly. 
3. Marinate for at least 20 minutes. Overnight in the fridge is fine as well.

*BEFORE YOU BEGIN-I own a very large saute pan and I still had to make this recipe in two batches. This means you might want to prep everything you have but only make a 1/2 recipe at a time, so as not to overcrowd the pan and stop it from cooking properly. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.*

Stir Fry
1. wash and dry the bok choy. Separate the leaves from each other. Then, with a knife, separate the leafy, green part of the bok choy from the firm, white part. Chop the bok choy leaves into approximately 1" pieces and slice the stems into 1/2" pieces (like you would slice a carrot). Set aside.
2. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. When water is boiling rapidly (in other words, the bubbles are large and popping up fiercely) add the mung bean noodles. You might have to use a wooden spoon to shove them in as they are rather stiff and oddly shaped. Once the noodles are in, cook for only three minutes, then drain and set aside. The noodles should be white and semi-translucent.
3. Coat the largest pan you have with the oil of your choice and bring to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add garlic--you should hear it sizzle. Let garlic cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add bok choy stems and cook for two minutes. 
5. Add snow peas and marinated tofu, reserving the marinade.
6. Add bean sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Add mung bean noodles and pour the marinade over the mixture in the pan. 
8. Continue to cook over medium-high heat using two wooden spoons to stir the mixture and break up the noodles.
9. Once the noodles have absorbed the sauce and just as things begin to get a little sticky in the pan, pull the pan off of the heat and serve. Makes approximately 10 servings.

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