Hurry-up Hoisin Tofu and Vegetables with Rice Noodles

by on March 1, 2006
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I debated whether to post this recipe at all because it wasn’t a big success. D. and I liked it, though I thought it could have been better; E. hated it, which is a shame because she loves noodles and tofu.

It was a bad night for cooking at all because I had to leave at 7:00 for a meeting, and D. didn’t get home from work until 6:30. I had planned to scramble up some tofu–a quick meal–but when I got to the kitchen I saw that the only tofu we had was this excellent locally-made tofu, dense and firm and perfect for a stir-fry. I didn’t want to “waste” it on a scramble, so I starting cutting veggies to toss together a casual stir-fry.

That would have been fine, only I decided to try a sauce, slightly adapted, from a recipe on my website. I should have done more adapting. I knew that 1/4 cup was too much seasoned rice vinegar, but I put it in anyway. Always trust your gut! Once that rice vinegar was in, there wasn’t much I could do without making the whole thing too watery. Make it a soup? Only by then, it was 6:45 and I had to finish cooking it, eat, and run. And take the photo. ;-)

Notice my time-saving techniques, particularly using the same water to blanch the broccoli and cook the noodles.

Hurry-up Hoisin Tofu and Vegetables with Rice Noodles

Hurry-up Hoisin Tofu and Vegetables with Rice Noodles

1 pound tofu
soy sauce
sesame oil
7-8 ounces rice sticks or noodles
1 head broccoli, cut into small flowerets
2 medium zucchini, sliced into finger-sized pieces
1 portabella mushroom, halved and sliced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped coarsely

Sauce (mix all ingredients together):

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (remember what I said and use less unless you like very vinegary things!)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
sprinkle red pepper flakes

Put a large pot of water on to boil while you cut your vegetables and make your sauce. Have all ingredients ready to be cooked–this moves quite fast once you start cooking.

Slice the tofu into “slabs” about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. Dip each one into a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil (just a few drops), coating both sides. Set aside while you heat an oiled, non-stick skillet or wok until hot. Put the tofu slices into to the hot skillet and cook until browned on both sides. Remove to a cutting board and cut tofu into cubes. Set aside. Keep the skillet hot.

When the water has reached a boil, put your broccoli in to blanch for 2 minutes (no more!) Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Use the same water to start cooking your rice noodles. They should be cooking, until al dente, while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.

To the hot skillet, add the zucchini and stir-fry it for 1-2 minutes, to sear briefly on all sides. Add the mushrooms and red pepper and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and add the broccoli, tofu, and sauce, and heat until warm, about 2 minutes.

When the noodles are done, drain them and add them to the tofu and vegetables. Serve hot.

Like I said, D. and I liked it, though the taste did take a little getting used to. With less vinegar, this could be great. Next time, I would use maybe a tablespoon or two of vinegar and replace the rest with water.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Get Skinny, Go Vegan. March 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Love fat free Chinese food, and vegan too, obviously!! I used to adore eating out at Chinese places but the older I got the more I was disgusted by the “Unknown” ingredients. Are they vegan? What type of gross oil is covering my tofu? We just QUIT eating at these places because it seemed like you never really knew what you were eating, especially with all the “fake” meats from China that are not labelled perfectly. Love the idea of making it at home, with known ingredients.

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2 ruthe January 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm

since ive been vegetarian, and now my new years resolution is to go vegan (yay!) ive been living off of cold rolls and stir fry. this was a quick and easy sauce thats different from my usual sauce.. i used less vinegar than called for and put a little bit of agave in to bring out the sweetness.. and its absolutely amazing! i didnt have zucchini, so i omitted that, and topped it off with bean sprouts.
ive been following you on facebook for the last 6 months, and i dont know why i waited this long to try a recipe!

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