You may switch the veggies for others, if you like, using fresh or frozen. And there are two ways the tofu may be prepared. It depends on whether you like it soft or firm and slightly crispy on the outside. Both of them are yummy and I’ve given the instructions for each. In fact, just this past weekend, I made the sauteed tofu version for some friends (even adding some snow peas), and we gobbled the whole thing up.
The noodles are naturally gluten free because they’re made with peas and beans. The brand I used (Pagoda Lungkow Vermicelli) has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It’s also fat free and GMO free. I actually pick them up in bulk at Costco, but you may purchase them (or a similar kind) anywhere you find Asian foods.
Vermicelli noodles are traditionally made with rice, so while the package says vermicelli, these are actually called: cellophane, bean thread, or glass noodles. The main difference (besides the fact these are not made with rice) is that they become transparent when cooked – while the vermicelli remains white. But like the vermicelli noodles, they also go from being crisp and rather fragile, to soft and a bit chewy (like pasta).
If you can’t find the glass noodles, the Vermicelli noodles will certainly work. So too would GF spaghetti or angel hair pasta. (Though the lighter-weight pasta is the best, in my opinion.)
- freshly squeezed orange juice - 1 cup (approximately 4 oranges)
- GF teriyaki sauce - 1/2 cup
- ginger - 1 Tablespoon (freshly and finely grated)
- garlic - 2 Tablespoons (minced)
- red pepper flakes - 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon
- firm or extra firm tofu - 12 - 16 oz. (cubed)
- sweet potatoes - 1/2 lb. (thinly sliced)
- broccoli - 1/2 lb.
- asparagus - 12 or so stems
- mushrooms - 1/2 lb. (sliced)
- GF glass noodles - 2 bundles
- green onions or chives - garnish (optional)
This is a recipe that goes more quickly (and smoothly) if you prepare everything in advance.
Begin by mixing the first 5 ingredients together. You can do this a day or two before you need it and allow it to marinate (covered) in the fridge. Or prepare it before you clean and chop your vegetables and dice your tofu. If you like spicy (like we do) go ahead and use 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, otherwise you can start with 1/4 teaspoon. (You can always add more later. In fact, I like to make it available so everyone can add more to their own serving, if they like.)
A note about the ginger: You'll only need a small piece and there's no need to peel the ginger before finely grating it. It just seems to split and move aside.
Put a medium sized pot of water on to boil (for the noodles)
Drain and cut the tofu into evenly sized cubes and pat dry with a paper towel.
Peel and slice the sweet potatoes thinly (so they'll cook more quickly). Cut the broccoli into evenly sized pieces. Remove the tough/stringy ends of the asparagus stems and cut into 3 or 4 pieces, slice the mushrooms and chop the green onions (separating them from the rest of the vegetables as it will be a garnish at the end).
Now for those tofu instructions:
#1 To make them firm and slightly crisp: You will saute the tofu first. To do this, pour a couple of Tablespoons cooking oil into the skillet and add about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of the orange sauce. You want enough to keep the tofu from sticking, but not so much the tofu isn't permitted to brown. If, as it's sauteing, you find it's not enough liquid you can always add a bit more orange sauce to the pan. Lay the cubed tofu over the oil/sauce mixture (but don't pile it up on top of itself). Saute for approximately 3 - 5 minutes on each side (or until it has turned a golden brown color). Then remove the tofu and set aside.
#2 For a soft version - Simply add the cubes at the very end and gently stir through the vegetables, sauce and noodles until the tofu has heated all the way through.
Now back to the rest of the dish...Microwave all the vegetables but the green onions for a couple of minutes - just until they've softened slightly. You don't want them mushy.
The water for the noodles should be boiling by now.
Into the skillet you will add the vegetables. Pour the (remaining) orange sauce over the top. Simmer over a medium to low flame while you prepare the noodles. Cook per the directions on the package. They usually only take 3 to 4 minutes. I like to separate them as they cook. It makes the next step easier.
When they're finished, drain and add them to the cooked vegetables. Stir through with a fork or pasta/spaghetti server. Then add the sauteed or uncooked tofu and gently stir them through. If you allow them sit for a few minutes the noodles and tofu will absorb more of the sauce. (Or spoon the sauce onto the top as you plate this dish.)
Garnish with the chopped green onions or chives before serving. The flavors are best if allowed to cool slightly.