Asian-inspired dishes have never been my forte. Growing up, we didn’t have them at home very often, unless you count the occasional bags of frozen stir-fry with the packet of sauce you thawed by submerging it in hot water. And I don’t count those anymore, although I remember really enjoying them.
I’m still an Asian cuisine amateur, and being vegan I’ve found it tricky to get honest-to-goodness Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese food while trusting that it is actually vegan. It’s just always in the back of my mind that there could be fish or oyster sauce in my meal or a few splashes of MSG. And just like any non-vegan restaurant we go to, you just don’t know exactly what they’re doing back there! We’ve found out many times that you cannot assume anything is vegan until you ask, and even then it’s not a guarantee.
So let’s take the stress out of dining out, and just stay home. This dish is quite elegant and tasty. When we had it there were no leftovers. The original recipe used soba noodles. Now, I’m a little grossed out by soba and its worm-like quality, so I went with udon. You could also use rice noodles. This recipe makes plenty of sauce, so don’t worry about not having enough. You could even make an Asian tossed salad topped with cubed tofu and the teriyaki sauce as the dressing. Or roll it all up in a wrap with some mung bean sprouts. Lots of options, so go crazy!
Teriyaki Tofu with Udon Noodles
Inspired by a recipe found in Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr
Serves 4 to 5
5 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or tamari
3 T canola oil
¾ cup pineapple juice
6 T rice vinegar
4 T maple syrup
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T ginger, finely minced
Other Dish Components
14 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 6 slabs
1 pkg udon noodles
green onions, sliced diagonally
snow peas, julienned
¾ cup orange juice
¾ cup dry white wine or cheap sake
1 ½ T arrowroot powder mixed with ¼ cup cold water
For marinade, combine Liquid Aminos, canola oil, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, and ginger in a bowl, mix well. Set about 2/3 cup of the marinade aside for the reduction.
Place tofu slabs in a shallow pan (not stacked) and cover with the leftover marinade. Let marinate 1 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Cook udon noodles according to packaging. Rinse with cold water and set aside to dry a bit.
Place tofu slabs on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. Bake for about one hour, flipping once. Periodically spoon leftover marinade over slabs.
While the tofu bakes, in a small saucepan on medium-high heat, whisk reserved marinade with orange juice and wine or sake. Reduce liquid by half, cooking for about 20 minutes. To thicken, whisk in arrowroot mixture and remove from heat.
To assemble, place cooled udon noodles in bowls. Place a sliced tofu slab on top of noodles. Drizzle with reduced sauce and garnish with green onions and snow peas. Beautiful and delicious!