BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Shirataki Noodle Salad with Tofu and Peanuts

  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 15 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $13

I need to tell you about yesterday because it was completely amazing.

It all started about a month ago, when the Young & Hungry writing team was just getting started. Dave Holden, the head writer and creator of the series, wanted his writers to experience my San Francisco food world firsthand, so he asked me to organize a day of eating, drinking and fun for them, in order to help inspire their telling of fictional Gabi's world.

I reached out to some of my favorite Mission District food businesses, and put together what turned out to be the most fun day ever.

I brought along my food blogging buddies, Irvin Lin (of Eat the Love), Sean Timberlake (of Punk Domestics), and Sabrina Modelle (of The Tomato Tart), so the writing team could learn learn a bit about the food blogging scene (and also because I like eating and drinking with them so much), and we set off on our foodventure.

We toured the Dandelion Chocolate shop/factory, and tasted pure chocolate straight out of the mixer.

We sampled cheese and beer at Mission Cheese and pastries from Craftsman and Wolves and Tartine.

We had an incredible wine tasting at 18 Reasons, led by Bi-Rite's amazing John Lee.

We gorged ourselves on Korean tacos, mushroom dumplings, spicy chicken wings, okonomiyaki, and pickles and beer at Namu Gaji, and then headed next door for Bi-Rite ice cream

And then, when the writers' plane was delayed 2 hours, we headed to Elixir, my go-to watering hole, for more drinks.

By the time we said our final goodbyes, I was feeling drunk, happy, and incredibly full.

So, the plan today is to keep things light, food-wise.

Enter shirataki noodles.

These miraculous (and, admittedly, kind of weird) noodles are made from soy and sweet potato. They come in 7-ounce bags, packed in a strangely fishy-smelling liquid, but don't be put off by this. Draining and rinsing them well, along with a quick boil will make them pleasantly chewy and pretty damn similar-tasting to wheat or rice noodles. 

Even better, a serving has a mere 25 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fiber, no gluten, and zero fat. If you're going to be eating noodles, I highly suggest swapping these in every now and again. They're satisfying, tasty, and spare you the "oh-my-god-I-just-ate-enough-food-for-3-people" feeling that so often follows a pasta meal.

My favorite kind is the Spinach Fettucine variety from Wildwood, but plain or any other flavor will work just fine.

Here, I toss the noodles with crunchy cabbage, shredded carrots and simple, uncooked tofu. Feel free to use shredded chicken, poached prawns or even grilled beef as your protein component. 


  • 2 7-ounce packages of shirataki noodles (typically found near the tofu--I'm particularly fond of the "Spinach Fettucine" variety from Wildwood's Pasta Slim $3
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pantry
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar $2.50
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari Pantry
  • a few drops of sesame oil Optional
  • Asian chili paste to taste Optional
  • 1 clove garlic, minced Pantry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey Pantry
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/2 small head) $1.50 for a whole head
  • 2 carrots, grated or cut into matchsticks $0.50
  • 6 ounces medium-soft tofu, cut into small cubes $1.50 for 12 oz.
  • 2 scallions, sliced $1 for a bunch
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves $1 for a bunch
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves $1 for a bunch
  • 1/4 cup shelled, roasted peanuts (buy in the bulk section), crushed $1.50

Recipe Serves 4


  1. Take the noodles out of their packages and drain the liquid they come packed in.
  2. Put the noodles in a strainer and place them under a cool running faucet for 30-45 seconds, to remove as much of their "fishy" smell as possible.
  3. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the noodles.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. 
  5. Drain and rinse noodles in cool water, then set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, if using, chili paste, if using, garlic, and sugar or honey. Set aside.
  7. Place the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, and toss with half of the dressing. 
  8. Layer the dressed veggies on a serving platter or in a serving bowl.
  9. In the same bowl you tossed the veggies with dressing, toss the cooked, rinsed noodles in the remaining dressing.
  10. Layer the dressed noodles atop the dressed cabbage and carrots.
  11. Top the noodles with the cubed tofu, scallions, mint, cilantro and crushed peanuts.
  12. Serve immediately.

Here's our final Reuse Roundup post! This one comes from Kaitlyn Breedlove, of Durham, NC.

Read on for her tip! I'll announce the Reuse Roundup winner this Monday :)

Kaitlyn Says:

I love your idea of tips to limit waste. We so often waste things that may seem insignificant to us, but with a look work can become something extremely valuable. 

I pretty regularly make homemade Mozzarella cheese.

After the cheese is finished, you are left with a huge pot full of whey. Most people dump it down the drain; the thought of that pains me. Whey is incredibly versatile and can be used in more than just the kitchen which is why I love it so much. Here are a few ways to use it…

 1. Homemade Ricotta cheese - Ricotta is one of the simplest cheeses to make, especially when using whey. Simply heat the whey up to 200 degrees, take it off the heat and allow it to cool to 140 degrees, strain it, and you have Ricotta (I’d suggest looking up more detailed instructions if making it, but that’s the gist of it). 

 2. Add protein to a smoothie/milkshake - I have a smoothie pretty much every morning, and adding whey gives it a boost of protein without having to buy protein powder. 

3. Lacto-fermented Pickles (or other vegetables) - if you’re a fan of lacto-fermented vegetables but usually make them with salt, try making them with whey instead. The fermentation time is usually faster, and you don’t run the risk of getting vegetables that are super salty. 

 4. Water your garden - your vegetable plants will greatly benefit from being watered with whey (just make sure to dilute the whey with water)


5. Substitute for liquids in baking - I have used whey as a substitute for milk and/or water in countless recipes. Breads, muffins, pancakes, you name it. If it has a liquid in it, whey can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio. It tends to give your baked goods a taste more similar to sourdough.

 6. Whey Lemonade - homemade lemonade that has whey in it is full of probiotics and is great for the flora in your gut. There are lots of good recipes for whey lemonade on the web.  

 7. Feed it to your chickens - while this probably won’t apply to a ton of people, for those of us who have backyard chickens whey is a great supplement for chicken feed as it contains a lot of protein. This is especially beneficial when chickens are molting

 There are a ton of other ways to use whey, some of which I have tried and some which I haven’t. From chicken broth substitute, to a substitution for water when cooking rice/oatmeal/quinoa, etc, to skin moisturizer, it seems like whey can be used for just about anything. And it can be frozen and saved for a later date, which is just an added bonus. 

All from a gallon of milk!  


Today's Reuse Roundup post comes from Audrey Dang of Nashville, TN.

I hope her tip inspires you to send me your best kitchen tip(s) for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks. Only 1 day left to enter the contest (it ends tomorrow, March 7th)!!

Email tips to 

Audrey says:

Since I share a refrigerator with roommates, it is especially easy for me to forget about ingredients long enough for them to spoil.  To help me remember and encourage me to plan meals, I keep a list of perishable food on my computer desktop. Then, I plan my next meal based on the ingredients or few on my list that are closest to spoiling.  

Right now, the list has avocado, red bell pepper, celery, and sweet potatoes.  I'm thinking about making an egg frittata topped with avocado, your sweet potato and black bean tacos, or potato soup.  If I have multiple ingredients that need to be used up, I do an internet or Pinterest search with the names of the ingredients and the word "recipe" to see if there is a dish that can combine them all.    


Today's Reuse Roundup post comes from Kate O'Neill of Toronto, Ontario.

I hope her tip inspires you to send me your best kitchen tip(s) for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks. Only 1 day left to enter the contest (it ends tomorrow, March 7th)!!

Email tips to 

Kate says:

There always seems to be the tail end of something green in my fridge, not enough for a full side dish but to much for the green bin.

I use up the ends of salad lettuce, spinach and other greens in my pasta. About three minutes before the pasta has finished cooking I toss any leftover veggies (cut to the same size for even cooking) into the boiling pasta water. Over the years I have added all types of lettuce, all leafy greens, any colour of pepper, diced carrots, you name it, you can put it in. Think of it as a quick blanche.

Drain with the pasta, toss in the sauce, sprinkle the cheese and enjoy!

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Today's Reuse Roundup post comes from Lesa Roemke of Kenosha, WI.

I hope her tip inspires you to send me your best kitchen tip(s) for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks. Only 1 day left to enter the contest (it ends tomorrow, March 7th)!!

Email tips to 

Lesa says:

My tip for minimizing waste in the kitchen is to keep track of leftovers. First of all, since I know that my family is not good at eating leftovers, I try to cook in such a way that I don't end up with any.

But if I do have some leftovers, I write them down on a small dry-erase board on the fridge, along with the date. Then when we are wondering what to have for lunch, we can easily see what leftovers are available. Including the date makes sure we eat them in a timely manner. I started doing this a month or so ago and it has really helped cut down on the amount of leftovers I have to throw out.