The lunar new year will be upon us soon. In a few days we will welcome the year of the goat. How will you celebrate?
For me, it will be a work day, so there will not be much celebrating. I'm sure the Ds will eventually coax a belated Chinese dinner out of Mr. Dependable. I will probably end up cooking, which really isn't so bad. Unless you are The Help.
The Help has decided to follow a strict eating regimen to bring down his blood sugar levels. Since his last doctor visit, he has been steering clear of ice cream cookies, Napples, and other yummy goodies. He has also been limiting his consumption of starch, replacing the mound of rice with a green salad. I know how hard it is to stay away from foods which are unhealthy but taste so good. I've been fighting the cholesterol war for years, trying desperately to stay off meds. I applaud The Help's valiant effort. But that's sort of where it ends.
Anyway, for dinner on Thursday, I'll be making something we can all (even The Help) enjoy. There is something for everyone in Rice Noodles with Crispy Tofu and Vegetables. D2 will eat this because she loves baby corn and won bok. D1 will eat this because she enjoys bell peppers and rice noodles. The Help can eat this without restraint because it is light and low in fat. Don't be fooled by the healthy sound of the recipe title. This dish is extremely tasty, even to high school students. Last year, D1 brought a pan of this to a junior council potluck. She was a bit apprehensive about how it would be received, but she reported that they totally cleaned it up. I guess I will do my part and have a serving of this too. But I also plan on making gao and gai dan tat so I will have something to look forward to after dinner. . .sorry, but low-fat is really not my bag!
click on recipe title for printable recipe
1 block tofu, sliced into 6 pieces and drained on paper towels overnight
16 oz dried rice noodles (1/2" wide)
1 1/4 c water
1 tbsp dried salted black beans
6 large dried shrimp
1 medium onion, cut into 1" pieces
2 large won bok leaves, sliced into 3/8" pieces
1/2 zucchini, sliced then cut into fourths
1 bell pepper, cut in 1" pieces
1 can baby corn, drained
handful garlic (flat) chives, cut into 1" pieces
6 T oyster sauce
6 T shoyu
1 1/2 tbsp mirin
1 1/2 tbsp shao xing
Heat 1/4" of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet. Cut each tofu slice into 6 pieces (3 x 2). Fry tofu pieces until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Soak rice noodles in warm water to cover for 30 minutes. Soak dried shrimp and salted black beans in 1 1/4 c water for 5 minutes. remove shrimp and black beans and chop fine. Reserve soaking water. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Saute chopped dried shrimp, black beans, and onions for 1 minutes. Add won bok and zucchini and saute for a minute. Add fried tofu cubes. Add bell pepper, baby corn and chives. Saute for another minute. Remove everything from the wok and place on a platter. Add reserved water to wok. Drain noodles and cut into thirds. Add to water in wok. Cook until water evaporates. Return tofu and vegetables to wok. Combine oyster sauce, shoyu, mirin and shao xing. Add to wok, and toss to coat everything in wok. Remove from heat and serve.
With a heavy heart, I would like to dedicate this post (and original recipe) to my beloved auntieKH. auntieKH left our physical world last Tuesday. While I am devastated by her passing, I am comforted by the fact that she left peacefully, surrounded by those who meant the most to her. We will all miss auntieKH, but as LA said, auntieKH lives on in our wonderful memories.
And auntieKH, if you're reading this, I don't think I thanked you enough when you were with us. . .thank you for marrying UM. Without your love and support, he would've been just another family weirdo!
Rest in peace, Auntie
January 30, 1947-February 10, 2015