I have two things to discuss on this, my second post.
1) This new plate is everything, and looks darn good with a pair of chopsticks. I can’t wait to put a beautiful salad on it, or perhaps a stack of pancakes with a bright yellow passion fruit syrup on top. Please advise; I am open to any and all suggestions.
2) I just discovered a new ingredient, and I’m going to let you in on the secret because I’m so generous: Ume plum vinegar. I’ve linked mine here, but you may also see it at Whole Foods. I bought this a while back on a whim (I have many whims in the grocery store), but after taking a whiff I had no idea what to do with it. It smells like sweet, pureed plums. So, there it sat, humbly mocking me with its greatness. That is, until I threw some on a heap of green beans along with a dash of sesame oil. Guys, it tastes nothing like it smells. It’s salty, tart and umami-rich, with all of the acidity and brightness that comes with most vinegar. Just listen, all you need to know is that it is delicious, and as I just discovered, you can put it on anything your heart desires: steamed veggies, sauces, salad dressings, soups…Do not be afraid.
Ok, back to the noodles. This dish takes 15 minutes and relies on the ume plum vinegar to build flavor quickly. To ensure the quick turn around time, this dish also uses one of my favorite tricks: throwing your broccoli in with the boiling noodles. Just bop those florets in there with about 5-8 minutes left on your noodles and forget about them. While your noodles and florets are getting steamy, you brown up the garlic and tofu in sesame oil. Throw the drained noodles and broccoli in with the tofu, build some flavor, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and you’re done. May I recommend packing this up for lunch tomorrow?
Simple, Salty Broccoli and Tofu Noodles
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: If you don’t have the ume plum vinegar, you could probably substitute with rice wine vinegar. Using other vegetables in place of or in addition to the broccoli would be great, too.
4 portions of whole wheat lo mein noodles (I used these)
1/2-1 full bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons ume plum vinegar
Black pepper to taste
Black sesame seeds, for garnish
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Throw in lo mein, and in the last 7 minutes of cook time, add in the broccoli florets.
As your noodles and broccoli cook, heat up the oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add cubed tofu and let it sauté for 3-5 minutes. Next add in the tamari, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic becomes fragrant and the tofu is slightly browned on most sides. Add your drained noodles and broccoli to the skillet with the tofu mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper and pour in the ume plume vinegar, stirring to coat.
Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve.