Some people hear tofu and run for the hills. But if they knew how tasty this crispy tofu is atop a bed of tender rice noodles, they'd be running for the dinner table. Our secret weapon is the heavenly mixture of tamarind and Sriracha. Tamarind is an ingredient common in South Asian cooking that's remarkable for its combination of sweet and sour all at once. It adds balanced tartness, while Sriracha brings bold heat. Whether or not you live that plant-based life, you'll love the flavors going on here.
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You Will Need
Large Non-Stick Pan
Before You Cook
Cook the Noodles
Add noodles to boiling water and cook, stirring often, 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain noodles in colander and run under cold water. Return to pot, toss with 1 tsp. olive oil (to prevent sticking), and set aside. Running cold water over pasta stops the cooking process.
Prepare the Ingredients
Trim and thinly slice green onions on an angle, keeping white and green portions separate. Zest lime, halve, and juice. Stem, seed, and slice red bell pepper into ¼" strips. Coarsely chop peanuts. Rinse tofu, cut into ½" thick slices across width, and press with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drying tofu thoroughly helps with crispiness.
Crisp the Tofu
Place 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Test oil temperature by adding a white part of green onion to oil. It should sizzle gently on contact. If it browns immediately, turn heat down and let oil cool. If it doesn't sizzle, increase heat. Line a plate with a paper towel. Carefully lay tofu slices in hot oil away from you (you may have to work in batches). Cook 3-4 minutes per side, or until tofu is golden brown and blistered. Transfer to towel-lined plate and let cool 5 minutes. Discard all but 2 tsp. oil and return pan to medium heat.
Cook the Vegetables and Slice Tofu
Add white parts of green onions, snow peas, and bell pepper to hot pan used to sear tofu. Cook 3-4 minutes, while stirring, or until snow peas are tender. Once tofu has cooled, transfer to clean cutting board and cut each slice into ¼” strips. Sprinkle with lime zest and ½ tsp. salt.
Finish the Dish
Add sesame oil, Sriracha (to taste), tamarind concentrate, tofu slices, cooked noodles, ½ tsp. salt, 2 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and lime juice to pan with vegetables. Stir until all ingredients are well coated.
Plate the Dish
Place a serving of finished noodles in a bowl or on a plate. Garnish with chopped peanuts and green parts of green onions.
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