This is a fantastic dinner and you should try it! So what if you are not vegetarian, vegan or blood type A!
I made this dinner for my friend who was visiting, and she couldn’t get enough of the crispy tofu and unctuous broth.
If however you want the same lime-y loveliness of the broth, you can substitute the tofu for chicken and do the same thing. Use thinly sliced breast and it should cook about a minute longer per side.
Also, about the curry powder coating on the tofu; try to stock your pantry with interesting curry powders and seasonings. If you ever get the chance to go to a good supermarket or spice shop, take the opportunity to stock up on unusual pantry items. It can help many-a-dish in a pinch if you are wondering how to add flavor fast!
This is easy and fast, so no thinking you can’t cook, or need to order in tonight!
You will need: 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbs of curry powder (try to use something interesting. The one I used had fennel seeds roughly crushed in it), 1 carrot, thinly sliced, 4 scallions, including green parts, thinly sliced, 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 tbs finely grated ginger root, 1/2 good quality vegetarian stock cube (I use Rapunzel brand with herbs and sea-salt), 1 1/2 cups water, 14 oz extra-firm tofu, water squeezed out (read method below), (OR if you want to use chicken instead of tofu, use 2 chicken breast, thinly sliced or 8 chicken tenders), 8 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles, sea-salt and cracked black pepper to taste, 4 lime wedges for garnish.
* Cook the soba noodles according to instructions and rinse well under cold water (in a colander) and set aside until ready to add to dish.*
1 – Place block of tofu on a plate and stack about 4 or 5 dinner plates on top of it. It should balance pretty easily. Leave it for about 20 minutes, (or longer), after which time more of the water in the tofu is squeezed out, making it easier to fry.
2 – Slice the tofu block into 8 even pieces. Sprinkle the curry powder on a big plate and coat the tofu on both sides in the mixture. Press the tofu into the plate making sure you get a good coating.
3 – Put a big saute pan on med/high heat and let it get hot. Add the oil and when the oil is nice and hot, add the tofu in an even layer and fry on both side for about 3 minutes (per side). Do not touch the tofu while it is frying, which will prevent sticking problems. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
*If substituting with chicken, cook for about a minute longer per side*
4 – Turn heat down to low/medium and add the vegetables, and parsley (not the ginger) to the pan. Saute for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
5 – Add the crumbled bouillon, ginger, lime juice, and water and stir to incorporate. Bring to a slight simmer and cook for about 8 minutes more. Taste for addition of salt and pepper. Add soba noodles and cook until warmed through.
Divide soba mixture between 4 warmed shallow bowls and add the tofu and a lime wedge to garnish.