This is the kind of salad where you can make lots of changes to suit your tastes. You can make it with any pasta you like. You can leave out the tofu or use tempeh or seitan instead. You can make it completely with veggie “noodles” which you can cook or leave raw. The veggie noodles and the dressing alone make a delicious raw dish. However you make it, my Pan-Fried Tofu with Zucchini, Carrot and Black Bean Sesame Noodles makes a lovely meal on a hot summer day. Enjoy!
Pan-Fried Tofu With Zucchini, Carrot, and Black Bean Sesame Noodles [Vegan]
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
- 2 tsp. arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. 5-Spice powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 3 Tbs. gluten-free, low-sodium tamari
- 2 Tbs. sesame tahini
- 2 Tbs. brown rice vinegar
- 2-3 Tbs. water
- A few dashes hot sauce
- 7 oz. black bean spaghetti
- 4 large zucchini, julienned
- 3 large carrots, julienned
- Nori strips, for garnish
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- To make the tofu:
- Cut the tofu into cubes and place in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder and spices over the tofu. Toss to coat.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside. If you decide to munch on a tofu cube, remember you will be left with an uneven number of cubes for serving.
- To make the dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or mug. Whisk until smooth. Taste for seasoning. If the dressing is too thick, add more water. Set aside.
- To make the noodle dish:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the black bean spaghetti and cook for about 7 minutes, until tender.
- In the last minute of cooking, add the zucchini and carrot noodles to the boiling water. Drain everything from the pot and run cold water over all the noodles, separating them with tongs or your fingers. Let them drain and then toss them with the dressing.
- Serve in bowls and top with tofu cubes.
- Garnish with nori strips and sesame seeds.