I had no idea there was such a thing as fresh tofu noodles until I saw them at the local farmer’s market. They’re actually made by pressing firm tofu into thin sheets and slicing them into noodle-like strands.
I decided to combined the noodles with stir-fried snow peas, carrots and wood ear mushrooms, but really it would be great with any combination of veggies, cooked or raw. Toss the noodles with a no-cook peanut sauce and you’re set for a nice summertime meal.
If you’ve never heard of wood ear mushrooms, they’re a jelly fungi – dark colored mushrooms that look like ears growing on trees, hence their name. Also known as tree ear, dry black fungus, cloud ear or mook yee, they’re available dried and sometimes fresh at the Asian grocery store.
When rehydrated, the wood ear will swell to several times its size, so a little goes a long ways. The dried mushrooms will keep indefinitely in a covered jar.
Wood ear mushrooms have little flavor on their own and are used more for their crunchy texture and color. They’re thought to have a cardiovascular benefit in helping to prevent heart disease as they contain an anti-coagulant compound (blood thinner) that inhibits blood clots.
Soy Noodles with Peanut Sauce
1-2 tablespoons dried wood ear mushrooms
1 bag fresh soy noodles (about 8 ounces)
3 ounces snow peas
2 small carrots
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sprig of cilantro, chopped
Soak the wood ear mushrooms in water until softened about 2 hours. Drain and rinse off any dirt, then cut off any hard spots. Julienne the snow peas, carrots and wood ear mushrooms.
Heat a wok until hot, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the vegetables and stir-fry 1 – 2 minutes. Add salt to taste and a splash of water if the wok appears to be too dry. Continue to stir-fry until the vegetables are tender crisp, about another minute or so. Set aside.
Tossed the noodles with the peanut sauce to taste. To serve, divide the noodles between two plates, top with the vegetables and garnish with cilantro.
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl, and mix until well combined and smooth.