Szechuan-Style Noodles with veggies - Easy

I picked up massive quantities of tofu at the wholesale club the other day.  You know that phrase, "to a 2-year old with a hammer, everything is a nail"?  Well, that's me this week.  Except with tofu. 

Can I add tofu to this, or to that?  I can't simply make Hot and Sour Soup every day (BTW, I made that soup yesterday with real chicken stock instead of the veggie version ...  theHubby hated it, go figure).

This time I took a simple Szechuan noodle side dish and threw in some diced tofu, becoming a very nice lunch.  I had originally diced the tofu way too fine ... next time the cubes will be more like 1/2 or 3/4 inch or so.

Szechuan is synonymous with spicy heat.  The amount of chili paste used here gives a bare tingle on the tongue.  But if rice crackers fry in your mouth, reduce the chili paste to just 1 teaspoon.  For everyone else, pass around a bottle of sraracha sauce to liven up the noodles even more.

Even if you don't like cabbage, as youngerSon does, the wilting process mellows the flavor, turning cabbage haters into cabbage lovers, as youngerSon became ... he ate several helpings at dinner, then polished off the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Szechuan-Style Noodles with Veggies - Easy
Yield: 4-6  servings for dinner or  6-8 or lunch

1 (12 oz.) bag fine egg noodles
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (1 tsp. of bottled okay)
1 (14 oz.) bag cole slaw mix
1/2 red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbl. soy sauce (regular or low-salt), plus more if necessary
2-3 tsp. chili paste (such as Sambal Oelek)
1 tsp. sesame oil
8 oz. firm tofu, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 scallion (green part only) thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
1 Tbl. sesame seeds, for garnish

Cook egg noodles in unsalted boiling water for 4 minutes.  Drain,  rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking and to help prevent sticking), then drain well.  Set aside.  If not using right away, mix in a teaspoon of oil, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.

Seems like too much cabbage.  Wait 2 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add oil, wait 10 seconds, then  add the garlic.  Saute for 30 seconds, then add the cole slaw mix and red pepper.

Saute for 2 minutes or until the cabbage just begins to reduce and wilt. 

Note cabbage continuing to reduce
and wilt as ingredients are added.

 Stir in sugar, soy sauce, chili paste and sesame oil.

Needs more soy sauce.

Gently fold in noodles until completely coated with sauce.  Taste and add more soy sauce, if needed.

Needs even more soy sauce.

Add tofu and gently turn noodle mixture over a few times to combine.  Remove from heat.

 Divide noodle mixture among lunch or dinner plates.  Garnish each serving with chopped scallions and sesame seeds, if desired, just before serving.


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