I spent the first beautiful weekend of summer in Ithaca, NY. Between hiking, ultimate frisbee, and yoga, I had a little bit of time to check out the local food co-op and grocery store.
Ithaca is home to a thriving vegetarian scene, including the landmark Mosewood Restaraunt, so I couldn’t wait to try the locally made organic tofu I found. Each individually-wrapped, golden brown block of Ithaca Soy Tofu-Kan cost around $2.00, and came marinated, baked and ready to eat.
After using it in this recipe, I fell in love with this ingredient. Tofu-Kan is firmer than raw tofu, so it doesn’t crumble. It adds it’s own dimension to the dish, instead of just soaking up other flavors. And because it comes baked, it requires minimal to no cooking time.
According to this article from the Ithaca paper,”TK” is made from locally-grown organic soybeans. The “smoky” taste comes from a marinade of soy sauce, barley malt, and secret spices. It is available for order here.
The other magic ingredient that made this dish a success was “rice flake” noodles from my favorite Thai Grocery (see below) on Mulberry Street in Chinatown. Each half pound bag costs $1.00, and at 2″ square, are the second largest noodles I’ve ever seen. Once cooked, they curl-up and look like ziti. So each noodle absorbs lots of sauce. You get lasagne-like layers of flavor in each delicate bite.
Check your local Asian grocery for rice flake noodles, or buy them here.
Smoked Tofu Curry Noodle
1 block tofu-kan or any marinated tofu, sliced
½ bag (1/4 lb. rice flake noodles), cooked and drained
1 bunch Chinese broccoli, chopped into 1” pieces (can substitute broccoli rabe or asparagus)
1 shallot, sliced into half moons
4 tsp. sesame oil
curry sauce (recipe follows)
optional: ½ c. chopped cilantro leaves
Place a wok over high heat. When hot, add 1 tsp. sesame oil and swirl to coat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring continuously, until golden. Remove to a plate. Add another tsp. of oil and swirl to coat. Cook the tofu until browned on both sides and remove to the plate. Repeat with another tsp. of oil and the broccoli and remove to the plate.
Add the last tsp. of oil and pour in the sauce. Once it is hot, add the noodles and turn heat to low. Add remaining ingredients and turn to coat with sauce. Season to taste and serve garnished with cilantro.
Asian Curry Sauce
In a small food processor or blender, combine:
1 clove garlic, chopped
1” piece of ginger, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 ½ tsp. Asian curry powder
1 tbp. soy sauce
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste
and pulse until smooth.
Asia Market Corporation
71 ½ Mulberry Street