Our family enjoyed Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables – thanks to this month’s alphabet blogging challenge (U is for Udon). It was a nice change of pace from many of our usual dinner standbys. The recipe took us beyond our culinary comfort zones and pleased our tummies.
My hubby is home for a brief period before his next trip. P is for Perfect timing: he has an adventurous palate and loves international food, especially any variety of spicy Asian noodles. My four year old took a serious liking to tofu and udon after rigorous taste-testing. Oh, yes: this dish is flavorful, healthful and satisfying…noodle comfort food at its best.
See the delectable dishes my blogging friends have created using scrumptious udon noodles:
Anna at Anna’s Cuisine
Liz at Food for Fun
Ngan at Ngan Made it
Sofia at Papaya Pieces
If you would like to participate in the future, feel free to contact me. The more the merrier!
One great things about this recipe is the abundance of nutritious vegetables. My kids love to help wash, peel and cut veggies. I have found that the more they are involved in food preparation, the greater their enjoyment of the meal. My four-year-old helped with wash and cut the radishes.
Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables has a delicious sauce that uses nutty, delicious sesame oil. Of course, the grocery store was out. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own sesame oil at home. I used this recipe, but feel free to simply buy it. The sauce doubles as a marinade for the tofu and also a sauce for the noodles and roasted vegetables; I love recipe components that do double duty. Less work for me!
The salad is delectable. The soft udon noodles and sweet roasted vegetables soak up the great flavors from the sauce. The baked tofu is crisp on the outside, soft inside and absorbs the tasty sauce while it marinates. It’s tofu bacon, if there is such a thing. Our family battled it out for the crunchy, salty tofu nuggets.
The recipe comes together in a flash; I lay out my ingredients before assembling the dish to streamline the process. The different vegetables are colorful, fresh and pleasing to look at. There is a certain allure about fresh produce!
You can garnish individual plates with cilantro, sesame seeds and cashews, as shown at the top of the page. Or, serve the salad in a large bowl and scatter the toppings on top, as seen below.First the noodles, vegetables and sauce are tossed…
Then the crispy “bacon” tofu is scattered on top.
Finally, lots of fabulous toppings cover the dish. A large bowl of this salad would be ideal for a picnic, potluck or large gathering of family and friends. It’s delicious served at room temperature or chilled.
The original recipe was found in Cooking Light. Of course, this dish is almost nothing like the original; it is a very loose adaptation. Casa Curls and Carrots is filled with cooking rebels! I hope you enjoy the myriad (yet well-married) flavors, textures and colors in the recipe.
A huge thank you to my fellow foodies for encouraging me to create a dish with Udon. I can’t wait to see what you guys have created this month. I am so glad I discovered something new and positively mouth-watering: U is for Udon Noodles.
Spicy Udon Salad with Tofu and Vegetables
Serves a crowd! Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.
3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons sesame oil, homemade or store-bought
6 Tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
2-3 tsp. laos chili paste, add less or more, to taste
1 Tablespoon red miso glaze
1 1/2 tsp. fish or oyster sauce
3 cloves garlic
2-4 Tablespoons fresh, chopped ginger, to taste
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 standard block of extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes or strips, drained and pressed
3 black Spanish radishes, thinly sliced with a sharp knife or a mandolin
6 cups oven-roasted vegetables, such as Broccolini, eggplant, summer squash, red bell pepper and carrot* (use as many or as little vegetables as you prefer)
8 ounces Udon noodles, prepared according to package directions and rinsed with cold water
To garnish: roasted, chopped cashews; roasted sesame seeds; fresh, chopped cilantro (optional)
- Combine all of the “sauce ingredients” in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and season with pepper, if necessary. The sauce will probably not need additional salt.
- Marinate the tofu in the sauce for thirty minutes on the counter.
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Use a slotted spoon or your fingers to arrange the tofu in a single layer.
- Reserve the remaining sauce. Place the sauce in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400•F.
- Bake the tofu until light golden and crisp on the outside, yet soft inside, 10-30 minutes, depending on the size of your tofu and oven accuracy.
- If you are roasting vegetables, cook them in the oven while you are roasting your tofu.
- Place the noodles, roasted vegetables and radishes in large bowl.
- Toss with just enough sauce to lightly coat the vegetables and noodles, about one cup. Toss with less sauce, if desired, and serve extra on the side.
- Taste and adjust seasonings (i.e. salt and pepper), if necessary.
- Gently toss the noodle mixture with the tofu, or layer the roasted tofu on top of the noodle mixture.
- Garnish individual dishes or large serving bowl with desired toppings. Serve room temperature or chilled.
* I roasted two cookie sheets worth of vegetables, including: one small eggplant, two small patty pan summer squash, eight ounces each carrots and Brocollini and one large red bell pepper. Read more about roasting vegetables here or read a basic recipe here.
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.