Spicy Soba Noodles Stir Fried with Veggies and Tofu:
Jeff Porter, author of Cooking for Geeks, says that if you want to eat healthy, you have to cook it yourself. And I couldn’t agree more, but I would add that it’s cheaper too. So when I’m craving take out, I end up saving a lot of money and I feel better after eating it if I make it myself.
The trick of stir fry and other wok-made dishes is timing. You want all of your ingredients prepped and waiting for you, not the other way around. So it all comes down to your Mise en Place:
Above I have tofu that I’ve cut into bite sized strips marinating in some soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and two smashed garlic cloves. I also have 1 julienned onion, 2 heads of blanched broccoli (stems and all!), 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 carrot cut on a bias, and 1 package of white button mushroom that I’ve sliced. Not pictured are a few pinches of chili flakes, a tablespoon of peanut butter, apple cider vinegar, the bottles of soy and worcestershire sauces.
Now to start cooking:
Get your wok or biggest skillet on high heat. Let the pan get screaming hot before adding about 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil (canola or vegetable) to your pan and then turn the heat down just a touch. You always want to stir fry at a high temperature, but garlic and oil can burn very quickly. Add your garlic and tilt your pan so that the garlic is completely submerged.
Once the garlic just barely starts to turn golden brown, toss in your chili flakes and allow them to cook until fragrant. About 10 seconds is all you really need to flavor your oil
Next, add your onions. This will cool down the oil significantly, so adjust your heat accordingly. High heat is key when stir frying, but you still don’t want anything to burn. Just keep your eye on it and keep your veggies moving.
Next goes carrots and the mushrooms with the broccoli last (as it’s already basically cooked).
I seared off my tofu in another pan to be added to the dish last so I could get it really evenly done.
Meanwhile, I’ve used the same water that I blanched my broccoli in to cook my soba noodles. Soba noodles are make with buckwheat flour, so they are more nutrient dense than your average rice noodles. After they are done cooking, which only really takes 3 minutes, I rinsed them in cold water and set them aside. Next I made the sauce:
For the sauce I’ve whisked together some a touch of oil, about 1/4 c of soy sauce, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a smidgen of worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar. Once I had the flavors right, I thought it was a little thick so I thinned it with a tablespoon of water.
Introduce everything into the pan: sauce, noodles, tofu and all. Stir fry to incorporate everything, serve up and enjoy!