Last night I wanted to make something relatively simple but satisfying. I also want to make more dishes from The Hakka Cookbook. So I chose “Garlic Noodles and Shrimp,” but instead of shrimp, I used tofu. That means I had to do things in a slightly different order and changed some measurements. I used a whole pound of tofu, which was more than what the recipe called for in shrimp.
First I set a large pot of water to boil. While it came to a boil, I sliced up my tofu and mixed it with 3 teaspoons of sherry and some salt and pepper.
I set that aside and chopped up 1/2 lb broccoli. I cut off the toughest part of the stems at the ends and cut off the florets. Since the stalks were long, I grated them to get the tough outer skin off, then sliced them up into nice rounds and cut the florets into smaller florets. When the water came a boil, I tossed in my package of dry Chinese noodles and set my timer for 6 minutes. I set the broccoli aside and began working on slicing up the other vegetables. But I’ll get back to that in just a second.
After six minutes of noodles boiling, I added the broccoli to blanch until it turned bright green then immediately removed the pot from the heat and drained the noodles and the broccoli.
While those sat in the sink, I heated oil in my wok and started to fry the tofu. While the tofu fried, I finished slicing up all the vegetables: one red bell pepper, a small onion cut up into slivers, a heaping mound of minced garlic (the recipe says 2 tbs, I eyeballed it and ended up mincing 2 large cloves and 4 small cloves), 1 minced serrano chili (the recipe uses jalapeno), and about 1/2 cup grated carrots. While I was preparing all the vegetables, I turned the tofu once as the pieces browned up. Once they were sufficiently browned on two sides, I added in the vegetables.
I stirred it all together and continued to let it sizzle until the onions began to brown, and then I added in the noodles and broccoli. I should have dunked the noodles into some cold water before adding them to break them up a little, but I didn’t, so they weren’t super easy to stir, but it’s okay. Then I added about 3 tbs of soy sauce and mixed it all up well. It was a mild-flavored dish, yet delicious. And definitely satisfying! I do want to try it with shrimp sometime.