Peanut noodles with gingered vegetables and tofu

It would seem that I am craving a lot of peanut butter lately. I suppose it’s true, I have been eating peanut butter at least once a day. When I first saw this recipe, it sounded like a good idea. Lots of vegetables and tofu in a peanut sauce – its everything I love all mixed together! The day I made it, we enjoyed it. Martin had seconds. And even though I cheated a bit (I’ll get to that later) with the recipe, it was still good. The next day things changed. We ate the leftovers, and though still good. I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. It was too…dense. I suppose it is because I associate vegetables, tofu, and noodles with light, summery meals. Perhaps the thick peanut sauce was just a bit too much. Martin suggested I increase the sauce to make it creamier, but I’m worried it will be too rich. If you make it, just know it will be rich and creamy.

4-6 Servings

Recipe:

Peanut sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves
2/3 cup hot water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Noodles & Vegetables:
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
8 ounces broccoli, tops cut into florets, stems peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 large carrot, cut into matchstick-size strips
8 green onion, white parts cut into matchstick-size strips
1 zucchini, halved and cut into slices
8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
12 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, and patted dry cut into 1/2 inch cubes
12 ounces soba noodles

Peanut Sauce:

Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, and garlic in medium bowl. Whisk in 2/3 cup hot water. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Noodles & Vegetables:

Cook noodles in large pot boiling water until tender. Drain.

While the noodles are boiling:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons ginger and 2 minced garlic cloves
Stir 30 seconds
Add broccoli & carrot, saute 5 minutes
Add white parts of green onions, zucchini, sugar snap peas, bell pepper and saute until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and 1 minced garlic clove, saute 30 seconds.
Add tofu and saute until golden, about 7-10 minutes.

Mix vegetables, tofu and peanut sauce, toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and peanuts.

Recipe Notes: I’m made some serious changes to this recipe. For one, I didn’t even use peanut butter, I used almond butter (we have a honey roasted peanut butter at the moment, and that would make it too sweet). Two, instead of chopping a million vegetables, I just bought a bag of frozen stirfry vegetables. I know, I majorly cheated. Of course with the frozen mixed veggies, everything cooks unevenly, the bell pepper is falling apart and the broccoli is still frozen. I’m sure this recipe is much better with fresh vegetables. And this may well be one of the reasons I was unsatisfied with it. If you don’t have soba noodles, most non-rice noodle varieties should be fine. And my last complaint about this recipe is that it required a few to many pots/pans – something to keep in mind if someone else washes your dishes!

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