Monday, March 4, 2013

Rice Noodle Bowl with Crispy Tofu

Want to know my favorite thing about cooking vegetarian? You don't have to worry about disinfecting your kitchen for salmonella. Want to know another? Crispy tofu: It's crunchy, tender, and really, really delicious. (Even my chicken-wing obsessed husband, who has claimed to hate tofu proclaimed his love for it while eating this dish.)

There are many more reasons to eat vegetarian of course; I highly recommend watching "Forks over Knives." It didn't inspire us to become vegetarians, but did inspire us to add more vegetables and cut more meat out of our diet. This recipe is partly me trying to make my husband feel full with a vegetarian meal while training for a marathon and partly inspired by a place I used to frequent in my old grad school town - Xinh Xinh Cafe.

This recipe is my take on a delicious dish that seemed to always be the "special" at a beloved Vietnamese restaurant in Urbana Illinois. I have fond memories of eating here with my sis, bro-in-law and niece (watching my then-toddler niece slurp noddles remains one of the cutest things I've ever witnessed.)

The sauce I made for this dish uses Bragg Liquid Aminos - my absolute favorite soy sauce alternative. It's a whole lot lower in sodium, naturally gluten-free and has a nice, deep flavor. And, hence the name, contains those wonderful amino acids.

Here's what you need...

Gluten-Free Crispy Tofu Rice Noodle Bowl
serves four

Noodles and fixings:
1 package rice noodles
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1 package firm tofu
1/2 cup cornstarch
julienned vegetables: cucumber, peppers, carrots
5-6 green onion, whites included
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (I love these Our Daily Eats Thai Chile Peanuts - they're locally made, to me - with this dish)

For the sauce:

1/3 cup coconut aminos
1 tablespoon gluten free fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon agave
1-2 teaspoons siracha
2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
1/3 cup warm water

Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, set aside (you want the noodles to be room temperature or cold when serving). Heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a wok. Cut tofu into desired shape (rectangles, squares, triangles - they all work) and douse in cornstarch. Add the corn-starch-coated tofu to the oil and cook until crispy, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place on a paper towel and finish cooking all tofu in small batches.

In a small dish, add all of the sauce ingredients together and whisk until fully incorporated.

When serving: layer the noodles first, then vegetables, tofu, peanuts, green onion, and pour 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce over the top. Enjoy!

(Little Guy just learned that he can climb on the dining room chairs and use chopsticks like they're drums.)

1 comment:

Organic Shirataki Noodles said...

Healthy & will love this recipe!