Thursday, April 20, 2017

Warm Noodles & Veggie Salad With Sriracha Tofu & Garlic-Ginger Dressing (Asian Style)

Warm Noodle & Vegetable Salad is very versatile; it is easy to prepare ahead and makes a fabulous main meal for busy days or potlucks. Colorful, tasty and filling, everyone loves it, me included!

If you want to avoid too much soy in the diet, use panfried Burmese Tofu. Tofu, nuts/seeds, noodles, and the abundance of assorted veggies make for a very satisfying meal. Use a combination or a single type of nuts or seeds.

All the ingredients can be prepared ahead including the dressing and kept separately; mix when ready to serve. Although I prefer freshly cooked and cooled pasta, it can be precooked also and brought to room temperature by removing from the fridge about 30-45 minutes before serving before mixing.

Notes: Do include Napa Cabbage; it adds a lacy look and lots of crunch! Other veggies like kale, leeks, baby bok choi, Edamame (young green soy beans), broccoli, as well as finely sliced or coarsely shredded turnips, sugar-snaps or snow pea pods etc. make great additions also.

Serves 4 - 6


1 large Carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1 small Daikon radish, cut into thin matchsticks
1 small Red Onion, thinly slivered
1 tsp Oil
1 Pinch Sea Salt
1-2 Persian type Cucumbers, thinly sliced into half moons
1/2 small Red Cabbage, sliced thinly
1/2 small Napa/Green Cabbage, sliced thinly
1 small Romaine Lettuce heart, thinly sliced
1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1 bunch fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped
8 oz Cappellini (Angel Hair Pasta) OR Spaghetti
1 Lime, cut into 6 wedges to serve

Sriracha Tofu or Roasted Tofu with only the following spices/condiments
1 block firm Tofu (14-16 oz)
1 pinch Turmeric
1 generous pinch Salt
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce

2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Slivered Almonds
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted Peanuts/Cashews, coarsely chopped

1/2" knob of fresh Ginger, chopped
1-2 cloves fresh Garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp firmly packed Jaggery, Coconut sugar, OR Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 Tbsp Asian Toasted Sesame Oil


Make the Dressing:  Place ginger, garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, rice vinegar and soy sauce in the carafe of a blender; process until smooth. Pour into a clean jar, add a spoonful of water into the carafe to gather every bit of the ginger and garlic and add to the jar along with the rest of the ingredients - the oils. Shake well to mix and taste. Adjust soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and pepper. Cover tightly with a lid and store in the fridge until needed.

Prepare sriracha or Roasted Tofu. If making sauteed tofu, drain the tofu well, wrap in paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible, then cut into cubes or batons. Heat a skillet, add a spoonful of oil just to coat the bottom of the skillet, add tofu pieces with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Cook for a couple of minutes, turn each piece to an uncooked side, and repeat so all the the sides are slightly golden - a couple of minutes per side over medium heat. Stir together a tablespoon of soy sauce and sriracha sauce and drizzle over the tofu, continue to cook tossing to coat all the pieces evenly. If made ahead, cool and chill. Warm in a skillet or in the microwave.

Make the Salad: Wash all the veggies well and prepare them as directed; some are sliced, some are cubed, etc. Keep the radish and carrots separate. Place the rest of the veggies in the bowl and mix well. If made ahead, the veggies may be chilled until needed.

Toast the nuts/seeds for Topping: Toast all the seeds/nuts individually using a dry skillet (no oils). As each one is done pour onto a large plate to cool. Add the roasted cashews and peanuts. cover and keep at room temp until needed.

Cook the Pasta/noodles: Boil some water with a little salt, add pasta and cook according to manufactures' directions. Drain. Add a teaspoon of oil and mix well so the pasta does not stick or clump.


Heat a large wok, skillet or pot with the oil; stir in onion, carrots and daikon with a pinch of salt and cook until warmed through - about 1 minute or so.

Tip the pasta into the warm veggies, and turn to coat with the oil and mix well. Turn off the heat.

Add the rest of the prepared veggies along with half of the dressing and toss well. Taste and add more dressing, salt & pepper etc as needed.

Divide into large shallow bowls and top with a few tofu pieces and some of the toasted nuts/seeds.

Serve immediately.  Pass the lime wedges and extra dressing to drizzle as desired.

Eat! Enjoy!

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