Whenever someone finds out about my diet, their inevitable response is, "well, what do you eat then?" And my response is always, "so many good things!" I get pretty resentful when people imply that my limited diet means that I eat boring or not delicious food, because my brain is constantly inventing and reinventing recipes and food combinations and ideas for meals. I am always thinking about what I'm going to eat next. Partly out of necessity, because if I don't plan ahead I get into hangry/there's no food I can eat here panic territory, and partly because that is what makes me happy.
But this meal is what I eat when I am out of ideas, or I am too tired or hungry to actually think about what I should eat. This is the meal version of the go-to-outfit rule, which is a rule I have that states that if I have tried on more than 3 outfits and I'm starting to feel frustrated and overwhelmed, I have to put on my go-to-outfit and then leave the house.
It works with pretty much any vegetables you have in the fridge, and you can use either tahini or peanut butter (the recipe uses both but increase one if you leave out the other), and you can choose if you have it with rice* or rice noodles or green bean vermicelli (pictured). I have even been known to throw salmon in there instead of tofu (chicken works too).
For 4 generous servings
350g tofu, cut into cubes
350g seasonal veggies (capsicum, carrots, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, zucchini, spinach, mung beans all work well)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles
2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini (see note up top)
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
Mix the peanut sauce ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
Cook your noodles according to the instructions on the packet - try to lean ever so slightly on the side of under-cooking them so that they don't go mushy. Splash a little sesame oil in to keep them from sticking together, set aside.
Lightly stir-fry your veggies - this recipe lends itself well to only just cooked veggies - otherwise you end up with one texture across many food groups and it's not good. Sit your veggies on top of the noodles while you fry the tofu in the same pan you used for the veggies, and a little olive or coconut oil.
Once the tofu is browned on the outsides, add it to the noodles and toss everything together with the sauce. Stirring sauce through noodles is an exercise in delicacy and patience, as they break and clump together easily. You may need to use your hands, or at least plastic/wooden implements over metal ones.
Serve with coriander, extra peanuts and Sriracha if you like it hot!
*if you make it with rice, toss the sauce with the cooked tofu and veggies and serve on top of the rice rather than tossing it though everything.