I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, I don’t even like to-do lists. I only ever write them when I’ve aleady finished most of the things I needed to do, just so I can cross them off. That said, I do think it is always good to reflect on yourself and what could be changed. And of course, when I reflect on myself, I reflect on food. The reflection is not particularly pretty on the health front.
It’s not even the holiday excess (although I did consume a fair amount of foie gras. ‘Tis the season), but my impending departure from Paris has made me seek out all the foods I’m going to miss. Unfortunately these foods are almost entirely composed of butter and cream. There is a great little boulangerie just down the road which make the most amazing pastries. My current favorite is the friand viande, which is sauted sausage and mushrooms inside buttery, flaky pastry. Mmmmm. There is also the amazing and reasonably price cheese section at my local grocery store. And let us not forget the 2 euro wine.
With all of this in mind, I do plan on shifting my eating habits a bit. I have a very healthy recipe planned for tomorrow, but I thought I’d ease us in with this one. I’m no dietician, but things involving tofu are healthy right? I’m also not tofu’s #1 fan, but I find it easier when it’s drenched in delicious sauce and accompanied by bright broccoli and soft noodles.
I originally found the recipe on Dinner A Love Story, and they found the recipe on this blog over here. I’m pretty new to cooking with tofu, and so I was confused by their recipes calling for a block of tofu. Are all tofu blocks standardized? In France too? I ended up just eyeballing my tofu, and using about 300g (10.5oz). I also found that I enjoyed the smaller cubes of tofu much more than the bigger ones, so err on the small side in your chopping. If tofu really isn’t your thing, this would be delicious with beef.
They both served the dish over rice, but I’m much more of a noodley person. Instant Ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet!) work really well in dishes like this. If you wanted to stretch this into 4-5 servings, you could definitely add another packet of noodles, and still have a good ratio. I also tweaked the sauce to my taste, and added broccoli. Because I like broccoli. This might be common knowledge, but did you know that the stem of the broccoli head is the best bit? I always peel off the outer layer and slice it into discs. It’s my favorite part of broccoli.
Even after tweaking the sauce, I found that it was still a little sweet, so if you wanted to decrease the sugar some more, go for it. The amount of Sriracha I added doesn’t make it properly spicy, just gave it a little background kick, so increase/decrease that to your tastes. Once your prep is done, this comes together so quickly, it makes a perfect weeknight meal
Mongolian Tofu with Broccoli and Noodles
Inspired by Dinner A Love Story
300g (10.5 oz) tofu
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp vegetable oil
small head of broccoli (about 1.5 cups chopped, roughly equal to the amount of tofu)
1 packet ramen noodles (seasoning packet discarded)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, grated
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
Press the tofu by placing it on a plate, covering in paper towels, and putting a heavy pan on top for at least 30 minutes. While you’re pressing the tofu, you can prep your other ingredients. Cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces, making sure to include the stem (peel the outer layer, then slice into discs). Bring a small pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles as per package directions. I like to under cook mine slightly, as they’ll cook a little more in the stir-fry.
Mince the garlic very finely, it’s basically raw in the final dish. Peel and grate the ginger. You want the amount of garlic and ginger to be roughly equal. Mix them with all of the other sauce ingredients (soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha). Adjust the sauce to your taste.
After it’s been pressed, cut the tofu into cubes (I prefer smaller ones), and toss them in a small bowl with the cornstarch. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet. When it’s nice and hot (it should sizzle if you flick a little water into it) add the tofu. Make sure not to stir the tofu too much, or it won’t brown. After the tofu has cooked for about 2 minutes, add the broccoli. Cook until the tofu is browned on all sides, and the broccoli is just tender, about 6 more minutes.
Add the noodles, then pour in the sauce (give it a good stir right before you add it in to reincorporate the oil). Stir frequently to get everything well mixed and simmer the sauce for a few minutes. Serve steamy hot.