What I like about this dish is you don’t have to stress about serving it right away after you cook the noodles, as it’s presented cold and in fact, gets even more flavorful the longer it sits marinating in the sauce.
For the sauce:
1 x 2-inch (5 cm) fresh piece ginger, peeled and minced
3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 tbsp peanut butter
4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp Sambal Olek
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp organic brown sugar
1 x 16-oz (453 grams) package soba noodles or noodles of your choice
White sesame seeds for garnish
For the vegetables:
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 head broccoli, florets divided and stem sliced thin
1 cup edamame, shelled and thawed if using frozen
1 bunch scallions, sliced (white and light green parts only)
1-2 handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped
Lime wedges, for serving
For the tofu:
1 x 16-oz (453 g) package extra firm organic tofu, drained and pressed
Organic, neutral oil for sauteing
To make the sauce:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and taste for any additional need to adjust saltiness (soy sauce), sweetness (brown sugar), heat (sambal olek), or creaminess (peanut butter). When you’re happy with the flavor, set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
To prepare the vegetables:
All the vegetables are incorporated raw, the broccoli, which I like to blanch for a couple of minutes in salted, boiling water (be careful not to overcook as you still want them to be somewhat crunchy).
To make tofu:
Drain the block from its package, wrap in paper towels, and squeeze out any excess moisture. Alternatively, you can place a plate on top of the block with something heavy on it like a couple of cans of beans and let sit while you prepare the vegetables.
After pressing the tofu, cube it into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add a little neutral vegetable oil and when hot, add the tofu. Season with a little kosher salt on top and let the tofu fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. RESIST THE URGE to move them around sooner, otherwise, they will stick to the pan and you won’t get a nice crispy exterior. Once done, set them aside.
Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the package directions, drain, rinse them in cold water, and dress them with a little extra sesame oil and set aside.
To assemble the dish:
Place all the vegetables in a large bowl, along with the cooked noodles and dress with the peanut-sesame sauce.
Using tongs, divide a heaping serving of the vegetable-noodle mixture in each of the four bowls, top with the crispy tofu and garnish with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, and a wedge of lime. If desired, you can also top with additional toasted peanuts. Pour your favorite glass of wine and enjoy!
2016 Querciabella Batar
NV Larmandier-Bernier “Latitude” Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs