Sunday, 23 March 2014

Spring clean super soba noodles with tofu

So, this post is in dedication to Emily, my flatmate. Don't worry, it's not an "in loving memory", she is alive and well, but she does move out Lolo's HQ in a few weeks. After two years of madness, an alarming number of Green & Blacks chocolate bars and 90% onesie wearing around the house I will miss my partner in crime. She has been a great support of Lolo's kitchen - from being a guinea pig, sous chef and cheerleader. 
Maybe this post should be a dedication to her new diet she has to follow. After some extensive tests, poor Embo has to endure a new regime for 12 weeks. That means no wine, (I repeat, NO WINE, the insanity) no citrus, dairy, berries, sweets, fried food...the list goes on. It goes on for about seven pages! But, there are some things she can eat more of which is very exciting. Tofu, sesame, oily fish, nuts, soya, avocado and red meat being but a few. Hoorah! All mixed together, no thanks. But, I was inspired to make sure my Embo had a tasty dinner she could easily cook up. 
Sesame, so I'm told, is a great source of calcium - and tahini paste is something to behold. A wonderful base for marinating, dressings, sweet fillings, spreads... And so readily available in stores now. 
You can make this recipe with any sort of noodles, swap tofu for chicken/beef/pork- whatever you please. I like soba noodles for this, as it's a great cold - pack it away for lunch al desko! 
Fresh, healthy, Spring clean for your tummy

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 packet of firm tofu 
2 tbs Chinese black vinegar
2 tbs palm sugar / brown sugar
2 tbs light soy

200 grams of buckwheat soba noodles (or any noodles of your choice)
 2 large handfuls of edamame beans 
1 tbs white sesame seeds
1 tbs black sesame seeds
4 spring onions 
1 tbs Sichuan pepper, crushed 
1 tbs oil

1tbs tahini
1 tbs rice vinegar 

Marinate the tofu: in a saucepan, heat up the soy, vinegar and sugar until the sugar as dissolved. Pour over cut slices of tofu and leave to soak up the tasty flavours for an hour. (More if you want) 

In a large pan of water, boil up the soba noodles for five minutes so it's al dente. You could also use this boiling water to cook your edamame beans too. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, chop up your spring onions. I like to cut the white section into little round shapes, and julienne (long thin strips) the green section. 

In a frying pan, heat up the oil and chuck in the round spring onion shapes, Sichuan pepper and sesame seeds. Fry on a low-medium heat for 7-8 minutes, until the onions are golden brown and you can smell the fragrant lemony pepper come through. Set all but a sprinkling aside, and with the residual heat, pop the green spring onion sections in the pan to wilt slightly. 

Mix together the tahini and rice vinegar. Stir in the spring onion, sesame seeds, pepper and oil and use this dressing for your noodles. Sprinkle the green spring onions and sesame seeds from the frying pan over the top. 

Wipe the frying pan clean and with a little oil, gently fry the tofu pieces for five minutes and place over the noodles. 

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