Pan-Fried Tofu with Zucchini, Carrot and Black Bean Sesame Noodles

black bean noodles (1)

Normally, I don’t make a lot of cold dishes or pasta salads but the weather has been so hot lately, it seemed like a good idea. Of course, I still have to deal with the heat in the kitchen since this is a cooked dish even if it’s served cold but at least it feels refreshing when I sit down to eat. Of course, pasta salads can always be made in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to serve.

The inspiration for this dish came from a bag of black bean spaghetti I had. Black bean spaghetti is made by Explore Asian. I did a review of their products not too long ago. They make wonderful gluten-free noodles made out of mung beans and black beans. The black bean spaghetti is exotic looking, similar in looks to soba noodles, and has a mild flavor.

Explore-Asian-Organic-Black-Bean-Spaghetti-Pasta-650748777599

I supplemented the black bean noodles by making zucchini and carrot “noodles.” I used a julienne peeler and got a cutting board full of pretty green and orange strands. I love using my peeler to make veggie noodles. It’s quick, easy and healthier than eating pasta.

orange chicken with zucchini noodles (17)

We could have eaten the zucchini and carrot noodles raw but instead, I threw them in the water where the black bean spaghetti was boiling for just a minute so they would soften a bit. Then I drained all the noodles together, rinsed them in cold water and let them drain for a bit.

The dressing I made was a somewhat thick sesame dressing. It was made with tahini, water, tamari and brown rice vinegar. It was tasty, not too strong. Oh, and a bit of hot sauce thrown in for kick. It made just enough to cover the noodles. If you like a lot of dressing, double the amounts I used.

I tossed the noodles with  pan-fried some tofu cubes that I first seasoned with garlic, ginger and 5-spice powder. Lastly, I garnished the dishes with sesame seeds and little strips of nori. That’s new for me, using seaweed in any form other than flakes for seasoning. The Nori strips were salty and a nice addition to the salad. I think I’ll be using them more often.

black bean noodles (24)

This is the kind of salad where you can make lots of changes to suit your tastes. You can make it with any pasta you like. You can leave out the tofu or use tempeh or seitan instead. You can make it completely with veggie “noodles” which you can cook or leave raw. The veggie noodles and the dressing alone make a delicious raw dish.

However you make it, my Pan-Fried Tofu with Zucchini, Carrot and Black Bean Sesame Noodles makes a lovely meal on a hot summer day. Enjoy!

 

Pan-Fried Tofu with Zucchini, Carrot and Black Bean Sesame Noodles

black bean noodles (4)

GF

 

For the Pan-Fried Tofu­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained

2 tsp. arrowroot powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. 5-Spice powder

½ tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

 

For the Sesame Dressing­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

3 Tbs. gluten-free, low-sodium tamari

2 Tbs. sesame tahini

2 Tbs. brown rice vinegar

2-3 Tbs. water

A few dashes hot sauce

 

For the noodle dish­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

7 oz. black bean spaghetti

4 large zucchini, julienned

3 large carrots, julienned

Nori strips, for garnish

Sesame seeds, for garnish

 

To make the tofu: Cut the tofu into cubes and place in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder and spices over the tofu. Toss to coat. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside. If you decide to munch on a tofu cube, remember you will be left with an uneven number of cubes for serving.

To make the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or mug. Whisk until smooth. Taste for seasoning. If the dressing is too thick, add more water. Set aside.

To make the noodle dish: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the black bean spaghetti and cook for about 7 minutes, until tender. In the last minute of cooking, add the zucchini and carrot noodles to the boiling water. Drain everything from the pot and run cold water over all the noodles, separating them with tongs or your fingers. Let them drain and then toss them with the dressing. Serve in bowls and top with tofu cubes. Garnish with nori strips and sesame seeds.

black bean noodles (21)

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

 

Pan-Fried Tofu with Zucchini, Carrot and Black Bean Sesame Noodles
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta Salad, Entree
Cuisine: Asian
 
Ingredients
  • For the Pan-Fried Tofu
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. 5-Spice powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • For the dressing
  • 3 Tbs. gluten-free, low-sodium tamari
  • 2 Tbs. sesame tahini
  • 2 Tbs. brown rice vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbs. water
  • A few dashes hot sauce
  • For the noodle dish
  • 7 oz. black bean spaghetti
  • 4 large zucchini, julienned
  • 3 large carrots, julienned
  • Nori strips, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the tofu:
  2. Cut the tofu into cubes and place in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder and spices over the tofu. Toss to coat.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside. If you decide to munch on a tofu cube, remember you will be left with an uneven number of cubes for serving.
  5. To make the dressing:
  6. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or mug. Whisk until smooth. Taste for seasoning. If the dressing is too thick, add more water. Set aside.
  7. To make the noodle dish:
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the black bean spaghetti and cook for about 7 minutes, until tender.
  9. In the last minute of cooking, add the zucchini and carrot noodles to the boiling water. Drain everything from the pot and run cold water over all the noodles, separating them with tongs or your fingers. Let them drain and then toss them with the dressing.
  10. Serve in bowls and top with tofu cubes.
  11. Garnish with nori strips and sesame seeds.

 

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2 Responses to Pan-Fried Tofu with Zucchini, Carrot and Black Bean Sesame Noodles

  1. Maureen Cram February 23, 2015 at 5:10 am #

    Do you recommend a particular julienne-cutter?

    • Rhea February 23, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      Any Y shaped one works to make the skinny strips. I love the OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler but as long as it has that Y shape and says it does julienne, it will work. I use a regular old peeler for thick strips.


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