thai-style zucchini noodles with pan-fried tofu and peanut ginger sauce

This dish is a flavorful yet lighter version of a typical Thai noodle dish. The zucchini noodles can be made easily with a vegetable spiralizer (I personally use the GEFU Spirelli). The sauce combines fresh ginger, garlic, peanut butter, and soy and the tofu, roasted peanuts and edamame add extra protein so that this dish is both filling and delicious. I would suggest pairing with a rich white wine like a Gruner Veltliner or a Riesling if you like sweeter whites that cut through the spice of Thai food. 

 

  • Extra firm tofu (8 ounces, whole block)

  • Red bell pepper (1 whole, sliced into thin strips)

  • Shredded carrots (1 cup)

  • Edamame (1 cup, cooked)

  • Chives (1/2 cup, chopped)

  • Zucchini (3 whole, medium sized)

  • Fresh ginger (2 teaspoons, minced)

  • Fresh garlic (1 teaspoon, minced)

  • Peanut butter (2 tablespoons)

  • Sesame oil (2 teaspoons)

  • Rice vinegar (1 teaspoon)

  • Soy sauce (1 teaspoon)

  • Honey (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Water (2 teaspoons)

  • Sriracha (1 teaspoon)

  • Cornstarch (2 teaspoons)

  • Salt (1 teaspoon)

  • Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Canola oil (2 teaspoons)

  • Red onion (2 tablespoons, finely diced)

  • Roasted peanuts (1/2 cup, coursely chopped)

 

  1. Unwrap the tofu and drain off the excess liquid. You need to dry out the tofu to ensure that it gets crispy during frying.

  2. On a cutting board, cut the tofu into half-inch slices and lay out the slices on a flat plate or baking sheet atop a layer of paper towel. Place a second layer of paper towel on top and then place another flat surface with some weight on top of the covered tofu. Let the tofu dry out between the paper towel layers for 10 minutes.

  3. While the tofu is drying out, prepare the other vegetables and sauce. Cut the bell pepper, chop the chives, and prepare edamame if you purchase frozen edamame. Set each vegetable aside to add to pasta while cooking.

  4. Using the spiralizer, create zucchini noodles out of the whole zucchini. 

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, water, and Sriracha to make a smooth, fragrant sauce. Taste to ensure balance and adjust as needed based on your preferences. Set sauce aside.

  6. Place tofu on a cutting board and cut dried slices into bite-sized cubes. Place in a shallow dish and toss with cornstarch, salt, and pepper.

  7. Heat a deep skillet with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu and ensure it is spread evenly in the skillet. Pan-fry until brown on all sides; be sure to flip while cooking for even browning.

  8. Once tofu is browned and cooked through, remove from skillet to a separate plate. 

  9. In the same skillet that you prepared the tofu, add the red onion and saute for two minutes. Add the carrots and bell pepper and stir together with a wooden spoon until coated in oil. Add a few teaspoons of water to the skillet to facilitate faster cooking of the vegetables.

  10. Add half of sauce to the skillet and stir into the vegetables. Add the zucchini noodles and edamame and with a small pair of tongs, ensure the zucchini gets evenly coated with the sauce and mixed with the vegetables.

  11. Add the rest of the sauce, the tofu, half the peanuts and half the chives to the skillet. Stir until cooked through and evenly mixed.

  12. Serve in a large bowl and garnish with the remaining peanuts, chives, and extra Sriracha for additional spice.