Eight Bells

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Soba Noodles with Sichuan Fried Tofu and Sesame

This is a delicious vegetarian recipe and I highly recommend it. Don't be scared of the tofu it's delicious. You may want to play around with the dressing a little as it's quite mild, a little fresh, finely chopped red chilli pepper would be a good addition and we used soy sauce on the the meal as we ate it. I'm afraid we can't claim this one as our own it comes from the NZ Heralds 'Viva' section and is attributed to Amanda Laird. We made an addition to this recipe by adding fresh mixed asian mushrooms to the pan with the gai larn, this worked very well.
Serves 2

150g of soba noodles (they don't have to have completed the 12 steps but if they have at least got up to number 4 and made a searching and fearless moral inventory of themselves then that will be fine)
150g of silken tofu
2 teaspoons of Sichuan pepper, roughly ground with a mortar and pestle
2 tablespoons of cornflour
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 bunch of gai larn, rinsed and trimmed of any tough stalks
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
Sea salt

1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, very finely diced
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of mirin

Bring plenty of water to the boil in a large pot. Gradually add the soba noodles stirring to prevent them sticking to each other. Cook until tender, drain and rinse. Set aside and to reheat simply immerse briefly in boiling water.
Combine a the cornflour with the Sichuan pepper. Cut tofu into cubes about 2cm square and dust with the pepper/cornflour mixture. In a wok or frying pan heat the vegetable oil (we used rice bran oil) and when a shimmer is obvious on the surface of the oil add the tofu. When coloured turn and cook the opposite side. Don't play with the tofu just put it in let it cook and then turn it once just as you would with a steak.
Remove the tofu from the pan when done and add the gai larn and sesame. Stir for a minute until the gai larn is wilted, then remove.
Combine the noodles with the greens and sesame in warm serving bowls. Stir in the dressing and season with salt if necessary then spoon over the noodles.


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