Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Crispy fried tofu and coconut curry noodles

My list of things to do before I graduate is infinitely long. I am back in the lab now, trying to do "minor revisions" for a paper of my research that has been conditionally accepted for publication. I would argue that the revisions are not so minor but that is just my humble opinion. Being back in the lab though means not really having time to cook during the week and making it home around 7 pm or 8 pm.

All of this to say, I have more pressing things to do and have other virtual places I should be that are not ediblebiology such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator and Pubmed. I look forward to coming here lately though, it is nice to get some of the things out of my brain that run around in there all day long.

Today I have been contemplating all day how to prepare the tofu that I wrapped in paper towels this morning to drain. I have to be honest that I generally dislike any tofu I make at home. Spicy agedashi tofu is my favorite thing to order at a Japanese restaurant, and Peaceful Restaurant makes amazing salty spicy tofu; so I know it is not tofu's fault that I do not like it. I think the problem is that I always try to apply my obsession with healthy eating to tofu. I know that if you fry tofu with oil it will be yummy but I usually refuse to fry anything. Today I decided to get over it and go for fried. 

I made another noodle bowl and balanced out the heaviness of fried tofu with a really light, citrusy, curry sauce. I really loved the sauce and I will definitely make this again soon. It took me only about 15 minutes to make everything (although the noodles were from 2 days ago, I suggest making fresh ones) and was surprisingly delicious.

Crispy Fried Tofu and Green Coconut Curry Noodles

Curry sauce 
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • Handful cilantro
  • Handful spinach
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp honey or to taste (agave or maple syrup for vegans)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp anise
  • Chili flakes
  • 1 cup cubed firm, well drained, tofu
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • salt
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • ~1/4 cup canola oil for frying
  • Prepared noodles of your choice
  • Prepared sauteed veggies (broccoli, pepper, mushroom)

  1. Start by making the sauce. Throw everything into a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your taste and let flavors meld. That's it!
  2. Toss tofu cubes in a tiny bit of oil then coat with cornflour and chili powder.
  3. Heat a shallow layer of canola oil on medium high heat (my stove was at 7/10). 4 - When hot, toss in the tofu. Just let fry for about 3 minutes. Toss a couple of times (about 6 minutes total) and test one piece for crunchiness before removing. I scooped the tofu out of the oil and placed on a paper towel for 5 minutes to drain. Season with salt.
  4. Meanwhile I sauteed a few veggies in a pan on medium-high heat with 1 clove of garlic until browned.
  5. Assemble. Toss noodles in curry sauce then place in a bowl. Top with crispy tofu, veggies and drizzle on as much curry sauce as desired.

Note: The sauce I made was very liquidy, more of a curry dressing. The use of full fat coconut milk would likely make it thicker but I really liked it the way it was. Also, the tofu held its crunch even after tossing in the curry sauce.

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