Udon, Tofu & Spinach


 By far one of my favorite meals to make.  Even the meat-eaters of the family will love this!

I used to think of tofu as bland or boring, but with just the right amount of peanut oil and some patience at the stove, you can make the most delicious and chewy tofu “steaks” ever.  For this recipe you have to press your tofu, but no need for any of those $50 tofu presses, simply find a heavy book, some paper towels and a couple of cutting boards to press it!

Now I know you’re dying to sink your teeth into this delicious vegan-friendly recipe, so here’s the recipe.

Udon, Tofu & Spinach – 4 servings

Adapted from the original Food Network recipe.

1 8-ounce package noodles (udon or thick spaghetti like bucatini)
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 14-ounce package firm tofu, cut into 24 small pieces
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1 11-oz baby spinach package
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
Small pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Small pinch of organic sugar

Press the tofu for 10-30 minutes before starting recipe.  To press the tofu, put it between two cutting boards.  On top, place a heavy book or dictionary.  You can skip this step, but the tofu will be soggy and less chewy.

Cook the noodles as the label directs. Drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pat the tofu dry and season with salt and pepper. Add the tofu to the skillet and sear until golden brown and a crunchy texture, about 2 minutes per side (although it can be tedious, make sure to do EVERY side for the optimum taste and texture.)  Set aside and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil and the baby spinach to the skillet. Cook, tossing, until just wilted. Add the scallions, a small pinch of red pepper flakes, the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, the soy sauce and small pinch of organic sugar. Add the reserved cooking water; then heat to create a broth. Divide the noodles and spinach mixture among 4 bowls and top with the tofu.

Enjoy!

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