Almond Noodles w/ Pickled Bok Choi & Fried Tofu
Rain, you’re drunk, go home.
I mean, all those years I’ve said, “Seattle would be perfect for me! I could wear black and grey and the people are all kind of jaded and hip and the food is awesome and I totally don’t care about the gloom, who needs sun?”…yeah, I was totally wrong. Seattle, you seem awesome, but, dang, I need my sun. And warmth. This whole never getting above 60 (most highs in the 50s) and raining nonstop for two weeks? Spring, I miss you–come back?
Rainy days, more than anything mean comfort days. And since I can’t just stay in bed and read a book until the sun comes out (being a student, I miss you too–come back?), making something warm and comforting (and slightly springy because, hey, it’s supposedly May and Spring) tops my to-do list.
Peanut noodles are one of my favorite on the fly, comfort foods dishes–I mean what vegan or ex-vegan doesn’t love a good warm, peanut sauced bowl of noodles or rice? It’s like steak and potatoes to us. I’ve waxed on the goodness of peanut/almond sauce before (and before), so grab your favorite recipe and use that as a base for your noodles. I also favor rice noodles, so that’s what I’ve used, but any will do.
As for the pickled bok choi, I kind of fell in love with the idea of this Bok Choi and Tofu Salad a few days ago over on Serious Eats. But I didn’t want to eat a salad on a rainy day. Seriously, salad = not warm or comforting (to me). But I had a pound of bok choi from the farmers market on hand and decided to use it as a raw garnish to the warm almond sauce noodles. Slightly pickled in rice wine vinegar, tarmari, agave nectar, and sriracha, they had an awesome crunch and acidic kick to the dish.
And fried tofu? Well, that’s pretty obvious. A little texture, a little protein, total goodness.
So whether you’re facing flooding like us here in Roanoke or soaking in the sun in Seattle (it’s 80-something degrees & sunny all along the west coast–jealous!), this dish could make for a quick, flavorful weeknight meal. Vegan comfort food at it’s best–bowl of noodles, sauce, vegetables, tofu. With a twist, of course.
Almond Noodles with Pickled Bok Choi & Fried Tofu
1 lb baby bok choi
1 c rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce
1 lb tofu, drained and cut into matchsticks
Vegetable oil (or any oil for frying)
Wash the bok choi and slice into thin ribbons. Place in a non-reactive bowl with the rice wine vinegar, tamari sauce, agave nectar, and Sriracha. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a large skillet, warm enough 1/4″ of vegetable oil. Toss the matchsitcked tofu in enough cornstarch to coat (maybe 1/4 cup or so). Once the oil is hot, and working in batches, fry the tofu until crisp on both sides. Set aside.
Prepare the peanut or almond sauce.
Prepare the noodles, toss with the sauce, and set aside.
To make a bowl, layer the noodles with the pickled bok choi (and a bit of the pickling juice) and tofu.