Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Udon Noodles with Tofu

When the tough gets going I like to think it's for a reason. For example, I would not have found this recipe if I hadn't gone to the doctor's last week. On Wednesday morning, I ran into the hall closet door which was wide open. The sad thing is that I saw it open before I went into the bathroom. After finishing up, I walked right into and split the skin above my right eyebrow and part of my eyebrow itself. I was beside myself. Anyway, it was this incident that led me to the doctor and ultimately to this super quick, super easy, and tasty dish.

While waiting for the doctor, I decided to peruse diabetic living. I am not diabetic but it was the magazine closest to me so I gave it a go. During my wait, I found this recipe, and many others, which seemed so simple and easy. It also has the added bonus of being colorful and beautiful.

I think it was worth it to smack my head to get a hold of this recipe.

Makes 4 generous servings
Time: 30 minutes or less, especially if you buy baked tofu

-8 ounces dried udon noodles or whole wheat linguine (I used regular linguine)
-12 to 14 ounces smoked teriyaki-flavor or firm plain tofu cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 1/2 cups diced cucumber
-1 large carrot, cut into think bit-size pieces (I made carrot peels instead)
-1/2 cup green onion

Note: I used 8 oz firm plain tofu that I pan fried on the stove to brown it a bit. If you buy the already flavored baked tofu, you'll save 10-15 minutes.

Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 4 minced cloves, 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper. Makes 1/4 cup

Cook pasta according to directions -- be sure to add plenty of salt to the boiling water. Drain, and cool pasta slightly.

While pasta is cooking, combine tofu, cucumber, carrots, and green onions. Add drained pasta. Drizzle ginger-soy vinaigrette. Toss salad gently to coat.

The recipe calls for reduced-sodium soy sauce but I used regular soy sauce and felt that it could use more salt. Perhaps I didn't salt my pasta water enough, I don't know. I also didn't think there was enough sauce for the amount of pasta and tofu. I recommend makes 1 serving plus an additional 1/2 serving.

The flavor is not over powering at all. It's quite light and initially I felt that it wasn't enough but I think it's because my palate is used to strong flavors. But the flavor is really nice and it's certainly a refreshing recipe for hot summer days because you can serve this at room temp or chilled. I think next time, I may add more soy sauce and more ginger. After all this recipe is called ginger-soy vinaigrette yet it has 4 times the garlic! Hmm.

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