Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

I’m trying something a little different today: a consolidated blog post. While I love writing, sometimes getting a blog post drafted (and published) is a chore. And, I have heard so many people—from friends to general internet chatter—say they wish it was easier to get to the damn recipe! So, here you are. This is an ingredient-heavy recipe, but once you’ve made it once you’ll see it’s quite easy to throw together. Cold rice noodles make a great lunch for enjoying in the sun, on the patio. Fresh herbs, tahini, and spicy Sriracha are bold and bright. Hope you enjoy!

Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce

Published May 7, 2019 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

For the Sriracha tofu:
  • 1 pound extra firm or super firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • For the tahini dressing:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • For the bowls:
  • 1 eight ounce package Mai Fun rice noodles
  • About 2 cups spring greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cucumber, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 daikon radish, julienned
  • 3 sprigs Thai basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds and lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 475°F and fit a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Place Sriracha, olive oil, and soy sauce in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in bowl. Use a spatula to gently turn tofu in sauce until coated. Using tongs or a fork, move tofu to prepared baking pan, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between pieces. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, flip tofu to the other side. Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, then place pan aside to cool and turn off oven.
    3. Meanwhile, prepare tahini dressing: place tahini, maple syrup, rice vinegar, water, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk until fully incorporated (note: at first, tahini might not want to mix in, but eventually it will become a smooth sauce!).
    4. Cook rice noodles according to package. Place cooked rice noodles in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.
    5. Assemble bowls: divide spring greens among serving dishes. Top with rice noodles. Add red pepper, cucumber, carrot, and radish. Top with tofu, then garnish with basil, mint, peanuts, sesame seeds, and lime wedges. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve.

    Cold Rice Noodle Bowls with Sriracha Tofu, Thai Basil & Tahini Sauce
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    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    I am a big cucumber fan — the type that will take a bite straight from a whole cuke - but you don’t have to be to enjoy this salad.

    Smashed Cucumber Salad is a Chinese side dish, and I’ve adapted that dish into a recipe I can make any old day. The salad base is still just cucumber (a GREAT way to mix it up when you’re in a salad rut). The dressing is where the rubber really meets the road here. You could use this dressing on other salads, too — but I never have leftovers 😁

    The perfect balance of salt, acid, and sweet: rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey come together here. I haven’t yet watched Salt Fat Acid Heat (or read it), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a dish that balances all of it’s flavors well. What do you think — should I jump in and watch the show?

    Either way, this dressing is golden. Garlic and chili flakes add punch. Cucumber is plain and simple; but simple is just right with the dressing.

    Smashed Cucumber Salad
    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Published April 2, 2019 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2-3 english cucumbers 
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or white sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice or minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon minced cilantro, 2-3 small sprigs of mint (optional), lime wedges (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Slice ends off of cucumber, and slice in half the long direction. Lay halved cucumbers seed-side down on a cutting board. Roll a rolling pin over cucumbers, smashing them just until the start to crack. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
    2. Place cucumber in a bowl and generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
    3. Place avocado oil, garlic and chili flakes in a small sauté pan and warm over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle. Stir occasionally, and allow garlic to turn golden. Remove from heat.
    4. In a jar, combine honey, rice vinegar, ginger juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and the chili-garlic oil. Stir (or close jar and shake) to combine.
    5. Toss cucumber in dressing. Top with minced cilantro, and optionally garnish with mint and lime wedges. Serve.

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    Thai Basil Beef

    Thai Basil Beef

    When our friends Thomas and Leah showed up at the house a weeks ago, the first thing they said was they had been thinking about getting Thai food for dinner. This was accepted with a round of “Oo, great idea!” and “Yesss,” comments, until someone remembered it was Sunday: our favorite Thai restaurant is closed on Sundays. This is something we typically remember when we are already halfway there.  

    But it was settled, in my mind at least: we would have Thai for dinner. I would just have to make it myself. I’m no stranger to making Thai Curry — we have it at home all the time. But for this dinner I wanted to 1) use up some ingredients already in the fridge and 2) learn to make something new.

    I came up with a list of four options and then made everyone vote. My mom always said I was “very diplomatic.” 👩🏻‍⚖️ When the votes were in, I got to work: garlic, Thai basil, and even a few Thai chilies. 

    Thai Basil Beef
    Thai Basil Beef

    The one place I cut corners when making Thai food is the fish sauce: it’s just not an ingredient I have in the house, and as someone who didn’t grow up on it, I don’t miss the fishy notes when they’re not there. That’s just me— feel free to use fish sauce in place of the Worcestershire sauce in this recipe for a more traditional experience. 

    Besides, my favorite part is the basil. Plenty of basil, and I’m all smiles. This summer I’ll be growing a BUNCH of Thai basil. I just love how fresh, sweet, and complex the flavor is.

    Serve this Thai Basil Beef over the Instant Pot Coconut Rice published in the blog last week!

    Thai Basil Beef
    Thai Basil Beef

    Thai Basil Beef

    Published April 24, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound ground beef, 90% preferred, but 80% will work
    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    • 1/4 yellow onion, diced small
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce OR 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
    • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
    • 2-5 Thai chilies, depending on spice tolerance, minced (if you really don’t like spicy food, skip these all together)
    • 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves 
    • Lime wedges, for serving 
    • Green onions for garnish
    • 2 cups coconut rice for serving

    Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat until it glistens. Add onion and garlic to the pan, and sauté until onion is transparent. Then, add beef to the pan. Cook beef, breaking it into crumbles with a wooden spatula, until browned evenly.
    2. NOTE: If you are your 80%/20% or other high-fat percentage beef, you may want to pour off the excess fat at this time, as it does not emulsify with the sauce super well.
    3. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce, and maple syrup, and stir. Then, add minced Thai chilies. Cook for 1 more minute, and then add basil, allowing basil to wilt. Stir into beef mixture.
    4. Serve hot over coconut rice, garnished with sliced green onions and lime wedges.

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