Monday, August 30, 2010

Broad Noodles with Southeast Asian Peanut Pesto and Five Spice Baked Tofu

This meal was a definite wow! If you don't feel like making the entire dish, the tofu alone is still a must try and would go great with some brown rice and veggies. Are most of you like me and cook food from many different cultures? If so then the ingredients listed should be something you already have in your pantry. If not, then it might be a pain to buy all the Asian ingredients needed. But I will again urge you to at least try the tofu, that is if you like Asian food.

There's only one thing listed that will be hard for most people to find and that's the Kaffir lime leaves. Would you believe that I've never heard of them before but after looking up what it was, realized that I have the tree in my backyard! My boyfriend's mom addes the juice from the limes to her conditioner all the time. It's said to help promote healthy hair. I never knew that the leaves were also useful until now. The leaves of the tree smell really lime-y but also have a really unique smell that I can't really describe. If anyone wants, I will be happy to mail you the two leaves needed. But I think the leaves aren't a must have and the pesto will be just fine, if you choose not to add them.

I also couldn't find Chinese broccoli at my local market and had to settle with regular good ol' broccoli and that worked out just fine. Oh and the last thing was I forgot to purchase peanuts when I went to the market yesterday, so I had to make the pesto with almonds. You can totally play around with the ingredients needed, as I did and still get a great result. This meal took me about an hour and a half to make, including clean up...not too bad for how great the end result was!

Printer Friendly Recipe Here

Serves 4

Five Spice Tofu
* 3 Tb tamari
* 3 Tb mirin
* 1 Tb toasted sesame oil
* 1 tsp unrefined sugar
* 1 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
* 1 lb firm tofu, pressed and drained, cut into 1/2 inch thick by 2 inch long strips

Peanut Pesto
* 1/2 cup fresh peanuts, toasted
* 1/2 bunch cilantro
* 1/2 bunch mint
* 2 fresh Kaffir lime leaves
* 4 cloves garlic
* 1 serrano or Thai chile, seeded
* 1 Tb peeled and minced fresh ginger
* 2 tsp sesame oil
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp grated lime zest
* 1 Tb white miso
* Juice of 2 limes

Broad Noodles
* 1 tsp canola oil
* 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 head Chinese broccoli, sliced into bite sized pieces
* 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
* 3/4 lb fettucine, cooked al dente

To Make the Tofu
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a mixing bowl, combine the tamari, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, five spice powder, and peppercorns to make the marinade.
2. Place the tofu strips in the marinade and toss to coat. Place the tofu on a baking pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until light brown. Turn the tofu and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Baste with more marinade and cook for 10 minutes, or until the tofu has a caramel glaze. Set aside.

To Make the Pesto
1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Blend, adding water as needed, to achieve a smooth, thin paste. ( Store refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 2 days. )

To Make the noodles
1. Heat the canola oil in a wok or large nonstick saute pan over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or until just browned.
2. Add the broccoli and bell peppers and saute for 1 minute, or until lightly wilted.
3. Add the tofu, followed by the pesto and the pasta, and cook for 3 minutes, or until heated through.
4. Add a small amount of water to thin out the sauce if needed, and toss well. Add salt to taste.

Nutritional Info :
Per Serving : 603 calories, 28 g protein, 71 g carbohydrate, 21 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1600 mg sodium, 12.3 g fiber

Per 1/3 cup Pesto : 154 calories, 6 g protein, 8.6 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 636 mg sodium, 2.9 g fiber

Per Serving Tofu : 145 calories, 10 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 763 mg sodium, 2 g fiber


  1. Hey Jacklyn, I will definitely at least try the tofu. I hope I don't sound out of the loop or anything, but what is five spice powder (smile)?

  2. See! I knew many people wouldn't have the ingredients listed. Five spice powder is a Chinese seasoning. Five different spices in one bottle. I think its cinnamon, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds and szechuan can make your own by grinding the star anise, cloves and peppercorns but its much easier to just buy the spice : ]