rice noodle

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

Waking up to such horrific and grieving news today about the Paris attack got me utterly speechless.  Words could not portray this perplexed feeling inside me.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one.  A lot of thoughts and questions surged through my mind; leaving me in a deep sense of anxiety.  I could only use silence as my condolence.  

One thing I learned these years is to restore my well-being through food and photography.  Knowing for the fact that I’m just a minuscule fragment of today’s entire humanity, the only constructive manner I could offer is not by saying but cooking. 

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle 

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 small carrot, cut into small cubes

1 bunch long green beans, cut into small bits (can substitute with frozen green peas)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped 

1 tsp fresh minced ginger

1 package 350g soft tofu 

2 tbsp Chili Bean Sauce aka Toban Djan

2 tsp corn starch

1 cup vegetable stock

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1-2 tbsp rice wine or white wine

1-2 tbsp fresh chopped spring onion

1 small bunch chopped coriander

3-4 tsp sesame oil

100g rice noodle aka mei fun, cooked

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat a saucepan on medium heat with a drizzle of sesame oil, cook garlic, ginger, spring onion, and shallot until oil is fragrant.  
  2. Add carrots and beans with a splash of rice wine.  After the alcohol evaporates, place a lid on and cook the vegetables on low heat 2-3 minutes.  
  3. Now add chili bean sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar with the soft tofu and put back on to medium heat.  Mix well.  
  4. Pour in vegetable stock and corn starch.  Mix well.  
  5. Reduce to low heat, put a lid on and cook 3-4 minutes.  Heat off.  Transfer to a plate with the cooked rice noodle.  
  6. Drizzle a little sesame oil and garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander before serving.  

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

Vegan Ma Po Tofu with Rice Noodle

15 minutes healthy noodle recipe - Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

I am a noodle person.  Maybe this is why it doesn’t bother me for living in Italy.  I also live real close to this organic supermarket called NaturaSí.  The shop sells practically everything you could possibly think of and most products are Fairtrade certified.  This is Italy’s largest supermarket chain specializing in the sales of organic food items while fully respecting the sustainability parameters.  The pricing is indeed slightly higher but I think it is justified by the high quality and authenticity of the products.  For those who practice a sustainable living in Italy, NaturaSí is certainly the ideal choice. 

What came to surprise me is that NaturaSí actually carries a lot of Japanese food produce.  So whenever I get a little homesick and long for fusion meals,  I can just pop by there to get some soba or rice noodles. 

Here are my extremely easy noodle recipe ideas for the busy bees! 

Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: less than 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 lb fresh asparagus, cut in 1-inch pieces, julienned the stalk parts and leave the heads

1 garlic, finely chopped

1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1/2 chili, finely chopped

1 radish, slivered *optional

1 tbsp mirin

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp sesame seeds

200g soba or mei fun (rice noodle)

sesame oil or extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Cook soba according to its packaging label.  After soba is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well.  Set aside.

2) Preheat a saucepan with 2-3 tbsp oil on medium-low heat, cook chopped garlic, spring onion, chilli, and ginger 1-2 minutes.  

3) Stir in asparagus and mirin.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  

4) Add water and soy sauce, put a lid on and let the vegetables cook 3-5 minutes.  

5) Add soba and mix well.  Season if necessary.  Heat off. 

6) Garnish with some sesame seeds, radish, chopped spring onion, and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving.  

Spicy Asparagus Soba Stir Fry

Stir Fry Veggies & Rice Noodle -- Here is the mei fun (rice noodle) version stir fry.  The steps are pretty much the same as the one before except I used zucchini instead of asparagus.   

Cold Veggies Soba - another extremely easy soba salad I like to make for cooling the steamy hot summer.  

Ingredients for dressing:

1/4 soy sauce

1/3 water

1 tsp minced garlic 

1 tsp chopped spring onion

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tbsp mirin

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

1/4 lemon or 1/2 lime juice and zest

2-3 tbsp sesame oil 

extra-virgin olive oil