Stir-Fried Noodles

This was a late Sunday lunch that we made quickly. Preparation time is heavily dependent on your chopping skills, since everything needs to be sliced into thin strips or matchsticks. I’m not that quick on the chopping block, but luckily I had Anni to help me. This is an easy recipe to tweak, and indeed, we never make it exactly the same, but change the veggies and the sauce components according to our whim and the contents of our pantry.

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This is what we used (makes enough for two):

  • 100 g rice noodles
  • 200 g carrots, scrubbed and cut into thin strips
  • 300 g cabbage, cut into thin strips
  • 1 dl cashew nuts
  • 250 g firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 slice of ginger, about 1 cm thick, crushed
  • about 3 tablespoons canola oil for frying

For the sauce:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried, crushed chili in oil (We used Lao gan ma brand)
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 2 teaspoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

First, I put the noodles in a boiling pot of water. While they were cooking, Anni was slicing the vegetables. I pressed the tofu with cheese cloth for a couple of minutes, and cut it into cubes. I tasted the noodles now, and yes, they were already beyond al dente, so I poured them into a colander, and rinsed them in plenty of cold water, so that they wouldn’t get stuck into each other.

Then I heated about 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over high heat, and fried the tofu cubes until they were slightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. I poured the tofu out of the wok to a plate, and put rest of the oil in the wok, and waited a while for the oil to heat up. Now it was time to fry the veggies.

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I put the ginger in the wok first, and stirred it around for maybe 20 seconds, and then added the carrots. Stirring continuously, I fried the carrots for about half a minute, and then added the cabbage, and fried them for about 2 minutes more. Whatever vegetables you are using, put the hardest vegetables in first, so they have more time to cook, but don’t fry them for too long! It’s nice if they still have some crunch, I think.

Next, I added the noodles. I put them in a bit at a time, mixing them with the vegetables. If you add all the noodles at once, it’s easy to end up with one big lump of noodles, all the veggies around it, which is, well, unsatisfactory.

While I was frying, Anni prepared the sauce. It’s easy to make, just combine all the ingredients in a cup, and stir. This time we used garlic, lemon juice, chili oil, soy sauce, agave syrup, brown rice vinegar and sesame oil. Yummy!

Once I had fried the noodle-veggie-mix for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously, I added the tofu back in, stirred for a few seconds more, and then poured in the sauce. Once it was mixed in, the noodles were ready to eat!

Variations

One thing to take into consideration with this dish is that the tofu tastes a bit mild when prepared this way. We don’t mind, I think it creates a nice contrast to the otherwise strong flavours of this dish, but there are a couple of easy ways to season the tofu.

One variation of the dish would be to marinate the tofu beforehand and otherwise prepare it exactly the same way, or alternatively, use unmarinated tofu, but once you have fried the tofu, pour in part of the sauce on top of them, stir until the tofu cubes have absorbed the sauce, and then remove them from the wok, and prepare the rest of the dish as explained above.

2 Comments


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