It’s time for my warm weather motto: I may hate the heat, but I heart farmers markets. I also heart venturing into other neighborhoods and secretly pretending that I live in them. The day will come that I move out of my dear Division St. apartment. That day could bring me further-out southeast into a neighborhood I have strong feelings for – Lents. I’m a frequent visitor to the farmers market, particularly come late July, because the hot pepper prices are unreal. I took my first trip of the season to the market opener on Sunday, and while I was ‘out there’, I stopped by J.C. Rice Noodle for a couple pounds of their fresh namesake, fresh tofu, and continued onto Fubonn for randomness. Once home, I quickly threw together something of a Pad Kee Mow with saucey, soft tofu and roasted peanuts taking the place of the scrambled eggs.
There is nothing quite like the combination of fresh rice noodles you pull apart with your hands, salty soy sauce, hot chiles and fresh yet sweet Thai basil. What a freaking thrill to semi-confidently create things like this (without the worries of fishy sauces) at home. WHAT A FREAKING THRILL.
Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Soft Tofu and Peanuts
Note: This sauce is based on my own taste buds of the moment. If you like things sweeter/saltier/spicier, do it. I’ll be listing the bolded ingredients in rounds, as I started mixing and cooking like so…
Round 1 of Ingredients:
- 1/2 package soft, water packed tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons vegetarian stir fry/mushroom sauce, like this
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce, like this
- 1 small handful roasted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste, like so
- dash of black sesame oil
- pinch turmeric
- pinch black salt
- fresh lime juice, to taste
Mash together the tofu and above ingredients with a fork in a medium or large bowl. Leave some chunks of tofu. Set aside.
- 1.5 cups chopped vegetables: I went with swiss chard, daikon, carrots, asparagus and zucchini
- 1-2 cups of vegan protein of choice: tempeh cubes, tofu strips, seitan, or tofu sheet knots
- Cooking oil of choice
If using a frozen protein, make sure to defrost. Pan fry your protein in 1/2 tablespoon oil on medium heat for 5 minutes, turning over to reach a golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.
Heat the same pan and add more oil if needed (I didn’t). Add your vegetables and stir fry for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat. Add a tiny splash of vegetable broth or white wine if vegetables begin to stick. You want to keep your vegetables vibrant – do not over cook. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan you keep on using, sauté the following:
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 garlic scapes, chopped (whatever, use the top!)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1-3 minced Thai chiles – stick to 1 if you’re unsure and grab the Sriracha later!
- 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil