13th February 2009


Here’s another recipe from Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways To Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking: this one a cold noodle salad with a spicy dressing and browned tofu. We got impatient for dinner and didn’t brown the tofu as long as recommended, but it was delicious nonetheless. Leftovers were great the next day. Keep them cool — heating them up will make the noodles and tofu mushy.

Lisa says:

Hmmm, I don’t know about cold noodles for dinner…

Chris says:

Wait; but you’re the one who cooked!

Lisa says:

Yeah, I just didn’t realize this was a cold dish.

Chris says:

I’m sure it’ll be good.

Lisa says:

Oooh… that sauce is a little spicy!

Chris says:

Yum, yeah it is! There’s a little kick there. It’s really good. So what do you think about the fact that it’s cold?

Lisa says:

Well I thought it would be weird, but I actually really like it. The buckwheat noodles rule.

Chris says:

Ditto. I think we could have cooked the tofu a little more, but other than that it’s pretty awesome. Let’s make this again for sure!


Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
1 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tbsp toasted sesame oil

12 oz dried buckwheat soba noodles
12 oz extra-firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.

Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.

While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into cubes. Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about ⅔ cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6.

posted in Asian, Main Dishes, Super Natural Cooking, Vegetarian | 0 Comments

20th July 2008

Ginger and Cilantro Baked Tilapia over Mixed Baby Greens

I came across this baked tilapia dish on the kitchn, and thought it would work well as a salad. Man, was I right! Not only that, but the asian-flavors marinade, made with white wine, soy, and sesame oil, makes a great warm salad dressing. This is a super-quick, super-simple meal that we’ll definitely be adding to the rotation.

Chris says:

This might be one of my favorite ways we’ve prepared tilapia.

Lisa says:

I agree — it’s so delicious. That sauce is awesome.

Chris says:

I didn’t even think about using it as the salad dressing until I pulled the pan out of the oven. It just smelled incredible — the wine, the ginger… so aromatic.

Lisa says:

I love the green onions and extra cilantro on top.

Chris says:

Me too. I don’t think I’d change a thing!

Lisa says:

It worked out perfectly. I definitely won’t complain if we have this again…

Ginger and Cilantro Baked Tilapia
2-3 tilapia fillets – about 3/4 pound
1 jalapeno pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 inch grated ginger (1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon spicy sesame oil
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Scallions, chopped for garnish
Extra cilantro, to garnish
1 package/bag Mixed Baby Salad Greens

Heat the oven to 475F. Pat the fish dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a glass baking dish.
Chop the pepper and garlic, and grate the ginger. Put in a small food processor with the soy sauce, white wine, sesame oil, and cilantro. Mix until blended. Pour the sauce over the fish, pressing the solid ingredients down into the fish a bit. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through.
Divide the salad greens between two plates. Remove the tilapia with a spatula and place half on top of the greens on each plate. Drizzle the fish with the marinade left in the pan. Serve with warm, crusty bread.

2 Servings

posted in Asian, Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups | 2 Comments

8th June 2008

Chicken & Shrimp Laksa

Chicken & Shrimp Laksa

Tonight Lisa made this Chicken & Shrimp Laksa, a curry laksa, adapted from a recipe in Asian Flavors. This Malaysian dish consists of wide rice noodles, chicken, and shrimp in a nicely seasoned coconut broth; stir-fried bean sprouts and snow peas add crunch, color, and texture to the soup.

Lisa says:

I think it needs just a little salt and a little bit of Sriracha.

Chris says:

Those noodles really soak up that broth; seems like it thickens as it sits. I like it.

Lisa says:

It would be really good with mushrooms and carrots… next time I’ll add those in.

Chris says:

Yum! And we’ll have to find shrimp paste; our anchovy-paste-and-fish-sauce substitute probably wasn’t quite as intense.

Lisa says:

Well there you go, now we have an excuse to make it again.

Chicken and Shrimp Laksa
2-3 tbsp peanut oil
4 red shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp minced fresh lemon grass
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 red chili, seeded an finely chopped
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 3/4 cups light coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
16 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
9 oz flat rice noodles
6 oz snow peas, sliced lengthwise
4 oz bean sprouts

Soak the rice noodles until they are tender. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan and fry the shallots over low heat until softened. Add the garlic, lemon grass, shrimp paste, red chili, and coriander and continue to cook over low heat for two to three minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, shrimp, and noodles and leave over a low heat until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a wok and stir-fry the snow peas and bean sprouts for two minutes or until they start to soften.
Spoon the laksa into serving dishes and stir in the snow peas and bean sprouts. Garnish with scallions, and extra chili peppers.

4 Servings

posted in Asian, Asian Flavors, Main Dishes | 1 Comment

26th January 2008

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Jeremy and Autumn came over for dinner one night this week — Lisa made these fresh rolls, which filled us up much more than the tiny seafood salad I made. The peanut sauce was also really, really good.

Chris says:

Yay, I love these; we haven’t made them in a while…

Lisa says:

I’m glad I made as many as I did. That dinner you made was barely enough for one, let alone four!

Autumn says:

How’d you get the tofu to not get all mushy?

Lisa says:

Apparently the trick is to roll it in a bit of flour first. It works really well!

Jeremy says:

These are tasty, thanks!

Chris says:

Um, did the four of us just eat 17 of these things?

Vietnamese Summer Rolls
12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 ounces rice noodles/sticks
4 Ounces firm tofu
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp oil
16 round rice paper sheets
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add shrimp; cook until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Slice cooked shrimp in half lengthwise. Set aside. In a medium bowl, cover rice noodles with hot water by 2 inches; let soak for 15 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Cut tofu into sticks, roll in flour and lightly fry in oil. Place on paper towel to drain.
Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Working with 1 rice-paper wrapper at a time, soak in water for 30 seconds; immediately lay flat on a work surface. Place 3 reserved shrimp halves, cut sides up, on bottom third, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place 1 piece of tofu over shrimp. Top with 1/4 cup assortment of rice noodles, carrots, cucumbers, mint, basil, and cilantro. Fold bottom of wrapper over fillings; roll over once, tuck in sides, and finish rolling.
Place finished roll on a plate; cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat process with remaining ingredients. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.

posted in Appetizers, Asian | 2 Comments

29th August 2007

Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry on new plates!

Lisa made a stir-fry tonight — no particular recipe, she just used all the vegetables we had on hand — and we finally got to put Jenn’s fantastic plates to use! Lisa marinated the chicken in soy sauce, garlic and sesame oil, and shallots, and then stir-fried with carrots, onions, tomatoes, spinach, chard, water chestnuts, zucchini, and broccoli. Simple, fast, and mighty tasty.

posted in Asian, Main Dishes | 0 Comments