I know I say this a lot here… but my absolute favorite meals are the ones that became something out of nothing. I realize this doesn’t look like quite nothing – some of you (mom) are thinking this looks like a lot of ingredients to happen to have on hand. But I promise… a half opened thing of mushrooms on one shelf, a couple scallions in the bottom left drawer, and these few poor eggplant counting down their last days… were not exactly screaming “yay dinner” in unison.
“Old me” would have left these things aside, and gone to the grocery store with a brand new list… “newer me” would choose one item, look up a coordinating recipe and head to the store for more stuff. “Newest me” is way to lazy for any of that, but still requires an awesome dinner. Plus I just hate to throw things away.
You could do this sort of asian noodle thing, really, with any kind of veggies you happen to have. This would also be great with soba noodles… I just happen to keep these brown rice noodles on hand (I’m partial to the Jovial brand).
This made more than I usually make for just the 2 of us – but they were great cold the next day for lunch.
a few tablespoons of olive oil for the pan
1 14 oz. package extra firm tofu, chopped into cubes (see prep notes below)
approx. 1.5 cup of sliced (japanese or chinese) eggplants
approx. 1.5 cup of sliced mushrooms (any kind, I had baby bellas)
1/2 cup chopped scallions (2-3 scallions, white and green parts)
brown rice noodles, approx 10 oz. (or soba or noodle of your choice)
a few handfuls of greens, I had mixed baby spinach and kale
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mirin (or sake, or rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2/3 cup veggie broth (low sodium)
sesame seeds, for garnish on top
sesame oil, for drizzling on top
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Cook noodles according to package directions, or until al dente. Set aside. If the noodles are done before the rest of your components are ready, toss them with a little oil while you drain them so they don’t stick together while they sit to the side.
Whisk together all sauce ingredients, set aside.
Prepping your tofu – I find that when I use West Soy’s brand of extra firm tofu, that I don’t have to press it too much. It seems to be more firm and has less water in it than say, Whole Food’s 365 brand, which I usually press. So, this time, I just cut my tofu into planks, dabbed it with some clean towels, sprinkled on a few pinches of salt and cut it into cubes.
Cook the tofu – Heat oil in a large skillet (or a wok if you have one) – get your pan screaming hot and add the tofu. Leave it for 30 seconds or a minute, then toss it around, stir frying for a few more minutes until it is nice and golden. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
Cook the eggplant and mushrooms – Using the same pan as the tofu (wipe out any burnt parts), add some more oil, heat the pan up again and add in the mushrooms and eggplant. Add just a little splash of the sauce (you’ll add the rest at the end). Stir fry until browned and until the mushrooms are soft. The time will vary depending on the heat of your stove, I cooked mine for a total of about 8-10 minutes.
Turn the heat to low and add noodles to the pan and drizzle in more of the sauce. You might not use all of it (and it’s on the sweet side), so start with about half, adding more later as you taste. Add the tofu back into the pan, a few handfuls of greens, the scallions and toss everything together. Taste and add more of the sauce, or salt/pepper if you wish.
Remove from heat and serve, finishing with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.