A couple weeks ago Jen B. and I found ourselves at Whole Foods. Neither of us make it there very often, so we decided to have a good coveting session while we walked around. Of course, it would have been much more enjoyable had the boy not been hitting her son all the time and if the baby hadn't been screaming. Sigh. It's probably for the best as I could easily blow my entire food budget in one trip there. It was getting to be lunch time while we were there, so we decided to get us lunch there and get Happy Meals for the boys. We each got a tray of sushi to share and then each got 3/4 pound of their spicy udon noodle salad. Lordy mama was it ever tasty!!
I liked the salad so much I thought I'd try to create something similar on my own. Did you know the Whole Foods website has recipes on it? It does. So, I searched on there and found this recipe, although I'm modifying it somewhat based on what I have on hand. This sounded like what I wanted, so we'll see how it goes.
Peanutty Udon Noodle and Tofu Salad
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
6 to 7 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic chile sauce (optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame oil
20 ounces tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-thick slices
10 ounces dried udon noodles
3 cups chopped napa cabbage, green part only
3 carrots, sliced
1 bunch red radishes, quartered
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
In a food processor, mix together peanut butter, honey, 3 tablespoons of the tamari, vinegar, chile sauce, garlic, and 2 tablespoons warm water and puree to make a sauce. Set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, cook tofu on first side for approximately 7 minutes. Carefully sprinkle tofu with half of the remaining 3 or 4 tablespoons tamari and cook for about 4 more minutes or until the first side is golden brown. Flip tofu and sprinkle second side with the remaining tamari. Cook until golden brown, then transfer tofu to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside to let drain.
Cook udon noodles according to package directions, drain and transfer to a large bowl. In a large pot with a steamer basket, steam cabbage, carrots and radishes for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Combine noodles with vegetables and mix in reserved peanut sauce. Top with peanuts and serve.
Per serving (about 11oz/314g-wt.): 510 calories (200 from fat), 22g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1390mg sodium, 59g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 19g sugar), 24g protein
I bought some Thai peanut sauce at Costco, so instead of making my own sauce I'm just going to use that stuff. And I'm going to heat up a bag of stir fry veggies instead of the cabbage, carrots, and radishes. So really the only parts I'm keeping are the tofu and udon noodles.
I have my tofu draining right now, I like to give it at least 30 minutes to drain. I put some paper towels on a plate, then put the tofu block on that, then put another plate on top with something heavy resting on it to drain the excess liquid out of the tofu. You want to make sure it's drained really well, otherwise it won't brown up nicely when you cook it. I generally like to use extra firm tofu for something like this, but my store was out of it yesterday, so I had to settle for regular firm tofu. I hope it does okay.
WOW. This was yummy!!! I wish my camera(s) had been downstairs so I could have taken a picture, but they were both up here in the office since I had recently uploaded pics from the boy's birthday weekend. This was super easy to put together, which I love. The firm tofu held up well, and I think I may have actually liked the cooked texture of it better than extra firm. I used about 3/4 cup of the bottled sauce (this is the website for the stuff I bought) which was plenty. This could easily be made using regular pasta, like spaghetti or linguine. This is definitely something I will make again. Yum!