In Egg Noodles recipe, tofu is an important ingredient. Tofu-soya bean curd-is not just for aging hippies and politically correct bunny huggers. It was originally developed as a meat substitute for Chinese Buddhist monks and has been around for at least 700 years. It soaks up flavors well and has an interesting texture, or what food scientist call “mouth feel”-an elegant but vivid term. Chinese style tofu comes packed in water. If you don’t use it the day you buy it, change the water, but don’t keep it hanging around for too long. Some people prefer buying ‘western tofu’, which is vacuum packed and comes in a number of different flavors. Smoked tofu is especially good.
A worthwhile and delicious Oriental technique featured in this recipe is the use of scrambled eggs to enrich the sauce.
Check in your cupboard, fridge or elsewhere in the kitchen for the following ingredients:
- 225g dried egg noodles
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons yellow bean sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 200g block of Chinese-style tofu, cut into 16 cubes
- 3 tablespoons chopped spring onions
What about the method of cooking?
Start by cooking the noodles: boil 1.2 liters water with salt and add the noodles. While they are boiling, separate them with a large fork so that they cook evenly and don’t stick together. Let them boil for three minutes, then transfer them to a colander and put them under cold running water until they are cold. Leave them in the colander to drain completely.
Heat half the oil in a wok and stir- fry the shallots, garlic and ginger for two minutes. Add the soy sauce and tomatoes and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the cold noodles and keep turning and tossing them around until they are hot again. Remove the wok.
In another wok or frying pan, heat the remaining oil and add the chopped chilies and yellow bean sauce. Stir these for two minutes. Then add the tofu and keep keep stirring for 2 more minutes. Raise the heat and add the lightly whisked eggs and spring onions. With a wooden spoon, vigorously stir the mixture until the eggs are scrambled.
Transfer the tofu mixture into the warm noodles. Heat together over a low heat, stirring and mixing so that everything is evenly hot. Serve at once.