Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Noodles with Tofu, Broccoli and Mushrooms

I love highly flavored, exotic dishes but sometimes I need "boring" food.  When planning tonight's dinner all I could think of was broccoli and tofu.  A large part of that was provably due to the fact that we didn't have much in the fridge other than broccoli and tofu, but that's beside the point.  This isn't the first time that I have had a broccoli and tofu craving.  Back in January I demanded a broccoli-tofu stir-fry in homemade black bean sauce over brown rice.  The recipe never made it onto the blog because (1) the dish sounded far too healthy to be good (although I thought it was quite good) and (2) it was one of those dishes where I just kept throwing a little bit of this, a little bit of that into the wok until it tasted good.  So I had no real idea what quantities of each ingredient I had used or any way to backtrack and figure it out.  Oops.  Oh well.  But it seems that broccoli and tofu have become my go-to healthy food craving in 2013.  We will see how long it lasts, but I'm thinking right now that it is going to last until spring rolls around and I start craving asparagus and salad.  I didn't feel 100% virtuous while eating these noodles, but I felt a lot more virtuous than I would have if we had made dan dan mian or another spicy, meaty noodle dish.  I briefly considered abandoning my noodle idea and making something else with the broccoli and tofu, but since we had fresh Chinese noodles in the fridge I decided to stick with it.  Once again we threw a little bit of this, a little bit of that into the wok but I tried to keep up with it this time.  And if we're being 100% honest, I was too hungry and lazy to fuss around trying to make dinner perfect so I didn't really even taste it before we plated it to see if it needed more seasoning.  The dish could have used a little something more to make it pop, but such is life.

Recipe after the jump!

Noodles with Tofu, Broccoli and Mushrooms

1 lb firm tofu
1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets
3 tbsp canola oil or peanut oil
8 oz wild mushrooms (we used a combination shiitakes, oyster mushrooms and crimini mushrooms), stems removed, caps quartered
2 large garlic cloves (roughly 1-1 1/2 tbsp), minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
3/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili oil (or to taste)
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 lb Chinese noodles (we used Shanghai noodles), blanched or cooked according to package instructions and drained
2 tsp Chinese sesame oil 

Drain the tofu and place on towels on paper towels.  To get rid excess water in the tofu, place another paper towel on top of the tofu, then place something flat and heavy on top.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Cut the tofu in half and cut into several slices 3/4" thick.  
Blanch broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute.  Drain broccoli and add to an ice bath. 

Heat a wide, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp oil.  Add mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes.  Season with s&p.  Remove mushrooms from wok and set aside. 

Return wok to medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp oil.  Very carefully add the tofu slices in one layer - do not overcrowd (you will probably have to cook the tofu in batches).  Fry for 1-2 minutes or until the bottom is nicely golden-brown, then flip to fry the other side for 1-2 minutes or until both sides are golden-brown.  Remove the seared tofu to a clean plate.  Set aside.  Repeat with remaining tofu slices, adding additional oil if necessary. 
Remove tofu from wok and set aside.

Lower heat to medium and add remaining 1 tbsp oil.  Add ginger and garlic.  Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Return the mushroom mixture and the broccoli to the pan.  Stir to coat in ginger and garlic.  Add the stock, soy sauce and chili oil, bring mixture to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for a minute or two, until all ingredients are heated through and broccoli is crisp tender.  Add tofu and scallions and stir to combine.  Add noodles and toss with the mushrooms and broccoli mixture.  Remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil and toss. 


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