Making tofu taste good can be a challenge, but when you cook it a certain way to crisp it up and still absorb flavors, it can be a delicious addition to a meatless monday meal. One night I had thought to make ramen with miso broth, but thought to do something a little faster. The idea of making the vegetables stir fried and glazing the noodles and vegetables with miso paste (diluted with water into a sauce) sounded just as delicious (and it was).
Pan frying tofu seems to be one of the ways to make tofu a nice texture, instead of being soft or mushy chunks in your food. Roasted tofu is great too and different glazes and sauces can be mixed into tofu since it absorbs and mimics flavors so well. It is important before cooking tofu to press it and drain out water from it so its texture isn’t as soft and won’t fall apart when cooking.
For this recipe I didn’t use too many ingredients and it was simple enough to make by having the miso flavor incorporated in the noodles, without having to make a broth. I only used cabbage, mushrooms, ginger and garlic for the stir fry element, but if you want to mix and match more vegetables into it then try it out. Fresh refrigerated noodles worked best for this (I found the kaedama brand at whole foods) and a three year barley red miso paste was used. Don’t forget the fresh chopped scallions to garnish, since it brings it all together.
Miso Flavored Stir Fried Ramen Noodles and Vegetables
Servings: 4 entree servings. Prep Time: 30-35 minutes
- 1 packet, firm tofu (15-16 oz), drained
- 1/2 cup flour (or more for coating tofu)
- Fresh ramen noodles for four servings ( either 1 lb or 20 ounces/2 kaedama brand containers)
- half of a large cabbage head, thinly sliced (can use white or napa cabbage)
- 2-3 cups of sliced white mushrooms (add more or less depending on preference)
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch nub of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 teaspoons light sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons red miso paste, mixed in 2 Tablespoons water
- 3 large scallions, rinsed and chopped
- Prepare a large pot of water to boil to cook the ramen noodles. When boiling, cook the ramen according to instructions and set aside in pot for later (add some vegetable oil to prevent sticking).
- Take the drained tofu block on a plate and place another plate on top and weigh it down (such as with a can of tomatoes) to drain excess water out of the tofu. Remove excess liquid from plate and pat tofu dry.
- Cut the tofu into medium sized cubes. In a bowl or plate, sprinkle the flour in and coat each piece of tofu until fully covered with the flour.
- In a skillet, heat on medium heat sunflower or vegetable oil to pan fry the tofu. Pan fry the tofu on each side until a golden brown color and you are able to flip them without it sticking (about 4 minutes per side). Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same large skillet, stir fry the vegetables. First saute the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds and then add in the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms down until any liquid is evaporated and they are lightly browned. Add in the soy sauce to glaze the pan and flavor the mushrooms. Next add in all the cabbage and cook for just 3-4 minutes until slightly wilted but still crunchy.
- With the miso paste sauce, add in half to the vegetables to flavor. Pour in the ramen noodles and combine them with the vegetables and the other half of the diluted miso (can use chopsticks to easy mix and separate the noodles).
- Turn off the heat and add in the pan fried tofu to absorb some flavors. Assemble to eat and garnish with chopped scallions. Enjoy!