Chinese

Meal Prep Monday: Sesame Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

10/15/2018 10:08:00 AM

New meal prep post for you today! It's a super-tasty but not-too-heavy noodle dish: sesame peanut soba noodles with shiitake mushrooms and crispy tofu.

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

One of my favourite ways to prepare noodles is to toss them through a pungent mixture of aromatic sauces and flavourings (soy, sesame paste, chinkiang vinegar, chilli oil etc.) and serve them cold. It's a recipe / technique I learned from the amazing Fuchsia Dunlop, and one that I turn to often, especially for a quick supper. (You may remember my recipe for Chinese Chilli Sesame Noodles, which follows a similar pattern). This type of cold noodle dish also makes an excellent meal-prep - especially if you use soba noodles, which hold up very well over a few days.

The idea for the crispy tofu came from a place from which I never expected to find an authentic-tasting Chinese noodle dish: Pinch of Yum. Pinch of Yum is an American food blogger from Minnesota who is suuuuper popular on Pinterest, and who mixes in lots of wonderful personal posts amongst her bright and chirpy recipes. In her recipe for Spicy Sesame Zoodles with Crispy Tofu, she makes a big quantity of a Chinese-inspired chilli-sesame blender sauce, uses some of it to dress the noodles (well, zoodles in her case), and uses the rest of it to fry cubes of tofu until crunchy and caramelised. Such a genius idea! Flavour, texture and protein, all at once!

I added some shiitake mushrooms to my noodles, because I have a big container of dried shiitake in the pantry, and I wanted to add a vegetable component to the dish. (I guess they're technically a fungus, but "they provide many of the same nutritional attributes of vegetables" so are often considered a vegetable). I soaked them in some hot water to bring them back to springy life, and used some of the soaking water to thin out the noodle sauce. It was a good move, spreading super umami goodness throughout the whole dish!

Sesame Peanut Sauce

Tofu Cubes

Spicy Tofu Cubes

Tofu and Noodles

They're garnished with coriander, spring onions and chopped peanuts and sesame seeds, to bring freshness, vibrancy and crunch.

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

These were an excellent meal prep, tasting just as good on day four as they did at the start of the week. They're delicious cold, and are both tasty and nourishing. Incidentally vegetarian / vegan and packed full of flavour!

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu

Enjoy!

Sesame Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu
Adapted from Pinch of Yum and Fuchsia Dunlop

Ingredients
4 large dried shiitake mushrooms
180 grams dried soba noodles
300 grams extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons tahini or sesame paste
20 millilitres sesame oil
20 millilitres vegetable oil
40 millilitres soy sauce
2 tablespoons black Chinkiang vinegar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small knob ginger, peeled and minced
To garnish: Salted peanuts, sesame seeds, fresh coriander, spring onion greens

Method
Place the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl and pour over hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Set aside.
Cook the soba noodles according to packet instructions, then drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and set aside.
Chop the tofu into small bite sized cubes and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.
Place the peanut butter, tahini, sesame oil, vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sambal oelek, sugar, garlic and ginger in a blender and mix to combine. If it is very thick, add a tablespoon or two of the shiitake mushroom water to loosen it up.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a non stick frying pan and add the tofu cubes. Stir fry until light golden brown. Add a 1/4 cup of the sauce and stir in. Allow it to cook, stirring gently until the sauce coats the tofu and caramelises with lots of little crispy bits. Take off the heat.
Stir the remainder of the sauce into the cooked noodles. Divide between four serving containers.
Drain the mushrooms and finely slice. Divide the sliced mushrooms and tofu cubes between the serving containers.
Garnish the bowls with roughly chopped salted peanuts, sesame seeds, chopped fresh coriander and chopped spring onion greens.
Makes 4 servings.

Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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2 comments

  1. I love sesame noodles. I have a 5 minute version for when I'm feeling particularly lazy! :P And a big yes to shiitake mushrooms. We always have some in the fridge that a friend taught me how to make-they're so tasty!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh a 5 minute version sounds ideal! I'm often too lazy or indecisive to cook a proper dinner, I bet those noodles would do the trick!

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